Graz: Historical splendour & modern architecture

Graz, Austria’s second largest city, is known for its well-preserved historic city centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But in addition to its historical splendour, Graz is also a centre for modern architecture and innovative design that harmoniously combines traditional elements with contemporary accents.

Kunsthaus Graz

An outstanding example of modern architecture in Graz is the Kunsthaus Graz. This futuristic building, designed by architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, was opened on the occasion of Graz being named European Capital of Culture in 2003. The Kunsthaus, often affectionately referred to as the “Friendly Alien”, impresses with its biomorphic shape and its blue acrylic glass façade, which lights up in different colours at night. It serves as a centre for contemporary art and attracts art lovers from all over the world.


Another impressive example is the Murinsel, an artificial island structure in the River Mur, designed by New York artist Vito Acconci. The island, which includes a pedestrian bridge, a café and an open theatre area, combines innovative architecture with functionality and offers a unique meeting place for locals and tourists.


The Pfauengarten project

The Pfauengarten project by Pichler & Traupmann Architekten This project involves the construction of a multifunctional complex that offers both residential and office space. The sleek, futuristic design of the building blends harmoniously into the cityscape while providing a striking contrast to its historic surroundings. The clear lines and the use of modern materials emphasise the innovative strength and progressive spirit of the architects.


Another remarkable example is the MUMUTH (Haus für Musik und Musiktheater),designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Berkel. The building, which is characterised by its dynamic form and innovative use of space and light, is a centre for musical performances and an important institution of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.


The Helmut-List-Halle, another example, serves as a multifunctional event venue and is characterised by its flexible and modern architecture, which can be adapted to different uses. Designed by the architectural firm KHT, the hall is a symbol of modern event architecture in Graz.


Not forgetting the Argos, a project by Zaha Hadid Architects. This building impresses with its striking, sculptural form and the organic lines that are typical of Zaha Hadid’s design language. Argos offers innovative office space and is another example of the successful integration of modern architecture into the urban fabric of Graz.

Graz impressively demonstrates how modern architecture can be integrated into a historic environment without compromising the charm and integrity of the old town. This harmonious combination of old and new makes Graz a fascinating destination for lovers of architecture and design.

Graz is therefore not only known for its historical beauty, but also for its innovative architectural projects, that make the city a lively and dynamic centre for art, culture and design.