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What’s the project?

A surreal celebration of some ideas which never should have left the architectural studio. Everyone knows Vienna is beautiful. But we want to take you to the dark side, and explore some very ugly mistakes, on a walking tour.

Why Vienna?

2015 is officially the year of walking in Vienna, and we’d like to get more locals exploring their own city from an innovative perspective. A tour of beautiful palaces would not interest many of them, but this will. There is a great fascination with death, failure and melancholy in Vienna, and this tour connects with that Ulrich Seidl mood.

Who will come on the tour?

We feel it will attract a diverse crowd, including some of the 1’700 journalists reporting on Eurovision. And since it’s in English and free, there should be a good mix of worldwide travellers also. Current tours of Vienna focus on the old city. We need new stories to tell.

Will it be interactive?

We think the media will be fascinated, and their coverage should start some useful debates. People on the tour will be asked to vote and we will produce a top 10 ugliest buildings in the city countdown. Through humour, we want to make some serious points about the role of the media, city-planners, fashion, gentrification, postmodernism, UNESCO and greedy developers. At the end of the tour, we invite the whole group to join us in an ugly bar and continue the debate.

What’s the aim?

This is one of the cities with the biggest gap between its fantasy and reality. We want to explore that gap, and maybe close it a little. Vienna is a lot more interesting than its reputation. In the spirit of Conchita, we want to transgress, and surprise people. We want to show another Vienna, beyond the tired cliches of Sissi and Schnitzel, a city which is more creative, contemporary and adventurous.

Which buildings will we look at?

You have to come on the tour to find out! In fact we haven’t chosen them all yet, and seek the help of our crowdfunding supporters to come on a pre-tour to add your input. We will include old and new architecture. Some structures are both beautiful and ugly. Only through ugliness can we discover true beauty, and the two have an interesting relationship in Vienna.

Why do we need your support?

As something new, we want the tour to be well-researched, including comments from the original architects. We will show well-printed architects’ drawings of future ugly buildings. We want to get onto the (expensive) press release mailing lists which go to international travel and architecture reporters, so they hear about our project. And to make the maximum splash in the city, we will make the first four tours free, to allow all kinds of people to participate, from students to new arrivals. Of course, we also want to get paid for our time working on the project.