Central and Eastern Europe is rich in beautiful, historic academic buildings and ornate libraries—but that’s not all! In the last decade, true modern design curiosities have joined the list of the most impressive campuses. Here are five of the most spectacular, with a little glimpse to the North.
Vienna University of Economics and Business
The new building of the Vienna business school was designed by top players, Zaha Hadid Architects, and completed between 2008 and 2013. The new Library and Learning Center features a stark contrast: while the exterior is made up of strict, straight lines, the interior is dominated by the curves and fluid shapes of Zaha Hadid’s style, all in white.
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME), Budapest
As a design university, it was paramount to MOME that when they construct a new building, and the result was something spectacular and unique. The seven-block complex cleverly blends modern style with the old: the most spectacular building, UP, represents the innovative energy and progressive spirit that permeates the whole campus in its architecture and intellectual content, but it also fits in perfectly with the neoclassical Gond-űző villa, which is a listed building. The final phase of the campus construction was completed in 2019, we wrote more about the project here after its inauguration.
Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Building C-13
Built between 2005 and 2007, this modern five-story building is in keeping with the university’s technical orientation even in appearance, as its unique perforated shape was inspired by the perforated punched tape used in the early days of programming by the architects of Manifaktura 1 studio.
Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague
The new building of the Faculty of Humanities in Prague is based on an architecturally interesting foundation built in the 1980s, which was never fully completed, but which they have tried to preserve. Opened in 2020, it is a spectacularly modern institution designed by Kuba & Pilar Architekti in a minimalist, raw, almost brutalist style, with lots of raw concrete inside and huge, airy spaces.
School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Espoo
Finland’s internationally renowned art school received a brand-new building in 2018, Väre, designed by Verstas Architects. Inspired by the old complex, the new campus is made up of smaller buildings connected like little villages—as envisioned by the university’s namesakes, the legendary duo Aino and Alvar Aalto.
Cover photo: Iwan Baan