Bedenberger Passage

Bedenberger Passage in Vienna, Austria by Soehne & Partner Architects

The following text and images are courtesy Vienna's Soehne & Partner Architects.

What once was a pedestrian underpass at one of Vienna's pivotal points is now about to become the city's hippest hotspot for distinguished nightlife. Since the early 60's the Babenberger Passage with its four exits provided the subterranean connection for all corners of one rather special crossover in the center of Vienna. The always busy and bustling shopping-boulevard Mariahilfer Straße at this point meets Vienna's most famous avenue, the broad and gorgeous Ring. Downstairs below the avenue, people will hit the dance-floor with international dj's rocking the place, will have a drink at one of the classy bars, will chill-out or simply just watch the scenery from the cool, cheeky and comfortable areas.

The place is managed by Sunshine Enterprises, running favored clubs and clubbings in the city for nine years. Sunshine Enterprises also includes its own sound studio and record label and is organizer of the annual sequence network festival featuring the crème de la crème of the worldwide electronic music scene.

The venue has a unique individual character, predetermined already by the animated shape of the once pedestrian underpass. This structure with its swung walls, niches, ceiling formed by triangles and the four exits ending in glass cubes has been maintained and further accentuated by the architects. But indeed, the atmosphere already gets at you while you're still outside the place, closing in surrounded by historic sights. The guests then enter via one of those stylish glass cubes being the main entrance, while the other three hold emergency exits. They feature huge translucent cylinders hanging from the ceiling, marking the borderline between nightlife and city life, at the same time working as an interlude and providing sight in and out of the club.

Downstairs we accomplished a club with various interesting views, places and atmospheres. At the same time we didn't fragment the place and avoided coming to the fore with an acclamation-begging architectural concept. There is a style and it's vivid. The venue hosts alternating clubs and the character of the place each night gets accommodated to the respective club concept. Different events come with different ambience, staged by means of individual application of illumination and seating. There's the element of the quite comfortable and neutral coloured furniture that comes in different arrangements and there's the play of colours creating settings from pure excitement to laid-back and cosy.