(Liv|in’ past, Vienna, Austria)


Liv|in’ past was commissioned by the “Stadt Wien” (city authorities of Vienna) to build a idealized model of Schloss Neugebäude as Maximilian II planned it until his death in 1576. This model will be part of an urban development project in the area surrounding the castle.

During our work we encountered some serious problems building such a 3D-model (lack of useful information, various alterations of the building throughout the centuries, structures never finished even under Maximilian II., aso.). In our lecture we want to show how such a model could be developed with a high level of probability. Where lie the risks filling the leaks of information and what should be mentioned dealing with such a high rate of interpretation. Why and under which circumstances should it be scientifically accepted to build and present such VIRTUAL reconstructions and how could they be used. Finally we want to give a critical comparison between virtual models like the Neugebäude and the “classic” ones following an extensive survey leaving you with not much space for interpretation.


Based on conventional architectural analysis and archaeological documentation work, a new 3D-reconstruction of Schloss Neugebäude (Vienna) with its vast gardens and surrounding dwellings has been elaborated from 2009 to 2010 by Liv|in’ past. However, by showing the first planning stage of Maximilian II and his architects this model is trying to evoke some kind of a historical phantom actually never to be accomplished. Thus, ample historical research had to close the gaps in the archaeological record, shedding light on fundamental questions of architectural history. By using analogies from 16th century Italy, France and Bohemia, the actually unfinished core of the representative southern façade, an impressing ensemble of columns and vaulted arcades, was tentatively reconstructed and linked to a specific fashion of Early Baroque architectural design. In the same manner, the original shape and subsequent historical development of the roofing was convincingly explained for the first time. Regarding the large gardens and hunting facilities, compelling new evidence could be gathered in combination with the results of the preceding 3D-modelling, allowing for further complex interpretation of Austrian architecture in late 16th-century. Thus, virtual reconstruction once again was established as a mighty instrument for historical and architectural analysis of all kinds.

Furthermore, the results of 3D-modelling and related research shall be used in elaborating the main concepts for a modern heritage management/presentation and a new valorization of the ruinous castle with all its surroundings in an urban context. For this reason, in a third focus of the proposed paper it will be shown how the virtual presence of a historically accurate 3D-model can influence aspects of city planning, infrastructure and tourism.


virtual reconstruction, 3D-modeling, heritage, urban development