University campuses are not only places of knowledge and learning: their lecture halls, libraries, research centers can also be architecturally exciting. In our selection today, we visit five exciting university buildings in the Eastern European region.
Jagiellonian University | Collegium Maius
The Collegium Maius, the oldest building in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, founded in 1364, has been a center of scientific research and discovery for centuries. Its most famous student and then teacher was the renowned Polish astronomer Copernicus. The beautiful neo-Gothic building took its current form in the 15th century: the building was organized around an inner courtyard, with a well in the middle and arched arcades around it. Its Baroque-style interiors are richly decorated with wooden inlays and filigree.
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv | Main building
The imposing main building of the National University of Kyiv stands out with its bright red color among the masterpieces of classicist architecture. Another curiosity is that it has two façades, as during designing, the architect, Vincent Ivanovich Beretti did not know which side the main entrance will be on. Today, the eastern façade opens onto Volodymyrsʹka Street, while the western side opens onto the university’s botanical garden.
Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava | Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology
The campus of the oldest technology university in Slovakia consists of diverse, modernist buildings: our favorite is the stepped, terraced building of the Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology. The ribbon windows divide the façade in a strongly horizontal direction, the exciting architecture makes the building hotel-like. Its entrance is decorated with a remarkable constructivist mosaic.
College of Polytechnics Jihlava | New lecture center
The dynamic, contemporary concept, industrial elements and minimalist style of the new lecture hall in Jihlava contrast with the classicizing building next to it, which was formerly a communist court and prison. The façade of the new auditorium for three hundred people is made special by exciting aluminum elements. Inside, plenty of exposed concrete, an industrial atmosphere, carefully designed acoustics and lighting make the spaces unique and flexible to use.
Vienna University of Economics | Library and Learning Centre
The central building of the new campus of the Vienna University of Economics is the library and learning center designed by Zaha Hadid. The dark-light contrasts and the part of the building rising above the square make the building recognizable from afar. Upon entering, we can feel as if we are in a giant spaceship: white surfaces, flowing spaces, a spiral staircase, a five-story high atrium, and plenty of glass surfaces.