Salzburg plans cultural campus

April 20, 2001

Salzburg University has unveiled plans for an extensive campus that should help strengthen the reputation of the city - the birthplace of Mozart - as a centre of culture.

The city of Salzburg has provided land for the Uni-Park, which will be one of the largest construction projects in its history.

The development is expected to cover an area of 23,000 square metres and will house the university's humanities faculty and the world famous University Mozarteum.

Salzburg University's administrative director, Elisabeth Haslauer, said:

"It is a great location close to the city centre and the new buildings will be tailor-made."

She added that the current humanities building, which accommodates almost half of the university's 13,000 students, is no longer suitable. "Humanities is our biggest faculty. The old building was intended to last ten years, but we have been there for nearly 30. It is expensive to heat and there is no space to develop new projects."

The Uni-Park is also designed to contain a library, a student canteen, lecture halls, facilities for training teachers and sports grounds for all university students.

Alongside the humanities faculty, the Uni-Park will provide a second base for the University Mozarteum, a higher education institute that caters for 17-plus students from all over the world, as well as up to 80 gifted youngsters - mainly from Austria - who are allowed to join from the age of ten.

It is planned that 17,000 square metres will be made available for the humanities faculty and 6,000 square metres for the Mozarteum.

The Mozarteum's main building in the old part of Salzburg was closed in 1998 after carcinogenic chemicals were found in the ventilation system.

These premises will be renovated and reopened in 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

The first phase of tendering for the design of the complex and buildings is due to close at the end of June. Architects from across the European Union were invited to bid for the contract.

As well as gaining local support for the project, the Uni-Park has won financial backing from the Austrian education ministry.

"We need about €44 million (£ million) to complete the project," Dr Haslauer said.

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