Advanced Design Studio: Shim

Shim: Vienna

Be My Guest


Design and Visualization



with Andrei Harwell

Course Description

This studio will explore architecture and the threshold / calculated balance between public and private space and its impact on modern life. The vehicle for this exploration will be the hotel which is a building type that uniquely combines, intertwines, embraces and engages both the public and the private realms. The hotel by its nature is a zone of transition between many extremes.  The studio assumes that the urban hotel is a compelling tool for the transformation of our urban fabric. The hotel has been and remains a testing ground for social change where the conventions of gender, race, class and spatial norms can be wilfully tested, reconfigured or abandoned.

The Yale studio group will travel to Vienna, Austria where their building project site is located. Students will have the opportunity to visit the site many times observing the subtle shifts in its surround urban context at different times of the day and night. Tours of iconic Viennese hotels as well as significant contemporary and historic buildings in Vienna have been organized.  Curators from the Architekturzentrum in Wien will share knowledge on evolving local urbanism and the pressing contemporary cultural issues in Vienna.  As well, a New York field trip to several iconic hotel buildings has also been organized.

In the contemporary hotel, the local resident and the global traveler collide, intersect with and overlap within the traditional hotel programme. Students are asked to consider both the local and the international as active players in the evolution of the new hotel typology.  This advanced option studio invites speculation, rethinking and reinvention of role of the urban hotel in shaping the future of our cities.