Exploring Brick in Vienna


After winning a brick painting competition hosted by Wienerberger, Architectural Assistant, Millie Evans visited the Austrian capital, Vienna to attend The 2024 Brick Awards.

The trip began with a tour of Vienna’s Rabenhof, a remarkable superblock social housing scheme built in 1928. This development includes almost 1,100 apartments thoughtfully designed around spacious courtyard gardens at various levels, offering lush green outdoor space for residents. The scheme showcases innovative uses of brick to create successful communal amenity, my favourite being the layered edges to planting and tree pits. Generally, I found the attention to detail and the abundance of greenery in Vienna’s public spaces to be truly admirable.

The Brick Awards ceremony took place at the Expedithalle, where winners were selected from 50 shortlisted projects worldwide. The categories included ‘Feeling at Home,’ ‘Living Together,’ ‘Working Together,’ ‘Sharing Public Spaces,’ and ‘Building Outside the Box.’ These projects exemplify the potential and versatility of brick to create beautiful buildings, a material used all over the world.


The following day, we attended an architecture symposium at the MAK (Museum of Applied Arts) titled ‘Sustainable Horizons: Advancing Architecture through Scalable Innovations.’ The event featured four inspiring talks by architects and designers from diverse backgrounds. Jennifer Beningfield from Openstudio presented a compelling case for the need for better housing in the UK, emphasizing the importance of sustainable, high-quality dwellings rather than a mere focus on quantity and cost-efficiency. Jens Linnet, co-founder of Studio BOGL, delivered an exciting talk on their community focused landscape projects in Denmark, demonstrating the use of reclaimed materials and scrapyard offcuts.

I concluded my visit with a couple of extra days exploring the city. Highlights included exploring cafes and vintage shops in the Neubau neighbourhood, visiting the Österreichische Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner and enjoying cocktails at the American Bar designed by Adolf Loos.