Before and After Impressions

The Parliament has reopened its doors after almost five years of renovation. Some rooms have been newly created; others have been given a new function. A before/after comparison of the most important innovations.

Agora: Newly developed space

The Agora is part of the newly created Visitor Center "Demokratikum - Experience Parliament" in the renovated Parliament Building. Previously, the brick vault was used only for storage and was not accessible to visitors.

Federal Council Chamber: Same room, different function

Before the renovation, members of the Budget Committee, among others, met in this hall overlooking Reichsratsstrasse. In the future, the meetings of the Federal Council will be held here.

The two wheel chandeliers designed by Theophil Hansen provided light then as now: they were restored and equipped with LED technology.

Central connection: Main staircase

An important goal of the renovation was to optimize the Parliament Building spatially and functionally. This included, among other things, the construction of four main staircases through which all upper and lower floors are centrally connected for the first time; they also serve as escape staircases. Inner courtyards were previously located in their place.

Library: Access to 160 years of knowledge

The Parliamentary Library is Austria's largest specialized political library.

After the renovation and modernization of the historic Parliament Building, the Parliamentary Library will appear in new, tidy splendor.

Glass dome: Transparency as a symbol

For the first time, the new glass dome above the National Council Chamber allows a view of the sky and the quadriga on the roof.

The light transmission can be controlled by the electrochromic - i. e. tintable - glass panels. The glass dome replaces the two glass ceilings that had previously covered the hall.

Lokal 6: From canteen to committee room

Parliament's canteen has made way for Lokal 6, which will be the venue for committee meetings, international events, and Democracy Workshops.

Restaurant: Attic is accessible for the first time

Above the Colonnaded Hall is the new Kelsen restaurant, which offers Austrian cuisine and hospitality. Named after Hans Kelsen, the creator of the Federal Constitution, the restaurant will also welcome external guests. The previously undeveloped attic had housed building services.

In the course of the renovation, the attic was used to create space for citizens, parliamentarians, and employees.

National Council Chamber: Modernization and monument protection in harmony

In addition to the glass dome, there are other important innovations in the National Council Chamber: The floor of the Chamber will be barrier-free, the distances between the rows of seats are wider in some cases, and the rostrum is now - unlike in the past - at the same height as the government bench.

During the construction work, care was taken to preserve the historical substance. For example, the individual timbers of the wall paneling made of walnut veneer were removed, numbered, and reattached in their original positions.

Attic: A bird's eye view of Parliament

The green copper roof is also history, having given way to a gray tin roof. The reason is that the copper roof was outdated and worn out.

Aluminum was chosen because, as a particularly weather-resistant material, it is currently the most common sheet metal roofing material. In addition, green areas and four terraces were created.

Lokal 1: Activation of hollow space

Moving forward, specialist and Investigating Committees as well as events will be held in Lokal 1.

The newly created committee room is located directly below the National Council Chamber and has been transformed from a hollow space into a hall that can accommodate 150 people.

Plenarium: Politics from above

The visitor's gallery on the top floor offers a view of the National Council Chamber from above. Here, visitors can observe parliamentary events and listen to the explanations of the democracy educators.

Also on site: areas for the Democracy Workshop, the Parliament's educational program for children and young people.