Vienna International Centre

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Vienna International Centre
Vereinte Nationen in Wien.jpg
General information
Type Office, conference, used by approx. 5000 employees of international organizations
Location Donaustadt, Vienna, Austria
Coordinates 48°14′05″N 16°25′01″E / 48.23472°N 16.41694°E / 48.23472; 16.41694
Current tenants United Nations Office at Vienna
Construction started 1973
Completed 1979
Height
Roof 127 m (417 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 28 (building A)
Floor area 230,000 m2 (2,480,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Johann Staber
Website
unvienna.org
Vienna International Centre (before construction of the M building and the DC Towers). The Austria Center Vienna can be seen at the far left in the middle distance. Both, the VIC and the ACV are a part of the UNO-City.
Austria Center Vienna

The Vienna International Centre[1] (VIC) is the campus and building complex hosting the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV; in German: Büro der Vereinten Nationen in Wien). As colloquially also known as UNO City, the VIC is only the one part of it. The other one is the Austria Center Vienna[2] (ACV).

Overview[edit]

The VIC, designed by Austrian architect Johann Staber, was built between 1973 and 1979 just north of the river Danube. The initial idea of setting up an international organization in Vienna came from the Chancellor of Austria Dr. Bruno Kreisky.

Six Y-shaped office towers surround a cylindrical conference building for a total floor area of 230,000 square metres. The highest tower stands 127 metres tall, enclosing 28 floors.

About 5,000 people work at the VIC, which also offers catering and shopping facilities (see Commissary below) and a post office (postal code 1400 Wien). Two banks (Bank Austria and United Nations Federal Credit Union offices), travel agents and other commercial services have offices on the premises.

The VIC is an extraterritorial area, exempt from the jurisdiction of local law.[1]

Complementing the early 2000s asbestos removal works in the VIC, a new conference building, previously designated “C2”, now termed “M Building”, was constructed over the existing parking deck near the southern perimeter of the campus, and put into service in 2009.

The M building hosted all conferences during the renovation of the C building (previously the main conference facility) from 2009-2013. Both M and C buildings are now being used for meetings. Very large conferences can be accommodated in the neighbouring Austria Center Vienna[3] (ACV), a separate conference and exhibition centre with a capacity of 6,000, which is with the VIC campus part of the UNO-City. The ACV has an indoor link to the VIC buildings.

Organizations[edit]

A major UN site along with New York, Geneva and Nairobi, the VIC hosts several organizations:

Three other notable international organizations headquartered in Vienna, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), occupy facilities outside the VIC.

Austria 100 Schilling 1979 Vienna International Centre Silver Coin

Commissary[edit]

The Vienna International Centre offers shopping opportunities to its staff, and the staff of Permanent Missions and other international organizations based in Vienna. The Commissary, so named after similar facilities for U.S. military personnel at various duty stations, offers an international selection of foodstuffs and household items, thus catering to expatriate employees (and selected family members) who may purchase familiar items that are not readily available in the host country Austria. The sale of hard liquor and tobacco products at tax-free prices well below the price level in Vienna causes occasional controversy within the United Nations common system. The store is run by the IAEA (the staff of which accounts for half the staff within the Vienna International Centre) on a non-profit basis. Persons entitled to shop at the commissary have a certain allotment per quarter (especially for hard liquor and tobacco products), depending on their rank; e.g. diplomats have much higher allotments than general service administrative or technical staff. Due to agreements between the UN and the host country Austria, Austrian employees are subject to further restrictions, limiting the tax-free purchases of alcohol and tobacco in their own country to a level well below that of staff members of other nationalities.

Within Vienna, but also amongst international attendees of conferences, meetings and the like, the commissary is often well-known, with visitors often hoping for access. The reality is that the area is out of bounds for external visitors.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The official name uses British spelling (Centre), following UN conventions.
  2. ^ In contrast to the VIC, the ACV officially uses American spelling (Center).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United Nations Visitors Centre". United Nations. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°14′05″N 16°25′01″E / 48.23472°N 16.41694°E / 48.23472; 16.41694