The multifunctional station and building complex “Wien Mitte” is the largest inner city project to be constructed in Vienna since the completion of the Ringstraße as well as one of the most protracted and controversial construction projects of the past three decades. In a context in which many opinions about this building already seem to have been formed long before it was completed this publication seeks to offer an impartial and objective view of the project. The focus is the 121 photographs which were taken by the Austrian fashion photographer and artist Elfie Semotan between the start of construction work in 2009 and its completion in 2014. Free from the conventions of traditional architectural photography, Elfie Semotan traces the genesis of the building with the eye for ambivalence and contradiction which also characterises her work for leading fashion magazines and designers such as Helmut Lang.
This photographic essay is accompanied by conversations between Elfie Semotan and the art historian Max Hollein and the architect Laurids Ortner and the architectural theorist Bart Lootsma as well as an interview of the real estate developer Thomas Jakoubek by the culture journalist Kimberly Bradley, in which the various actors offer detailed insight into their motivations.