History of the cooperation

In 1995 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Kubelik, then head of the Department of Architecture and Architectural Survey  of Vienna University of Technology initiated the revival of the academic contacts between Vienna University of Technology and L’vivska Polytechnic. As a result of his great personal commitment Univ.-Prof. Dr. Kubelik was able to reactivate the relations that had been broken up in 1918. At the beginning of the new academic contacts, docents of the TU Vienna held lectures in Lviv and reciprocal excursions of students and lecturers took place. This reestablishment of contacts was actively supported by the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture in Lviv, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bohdan Tscherkes, as well as by the director of the East and South-East Europe Institute Vienna, branch office Lviv, then, Dr. Elisabeth Hofer.

Plans for a contractual formalisation of the academic cooperation were soon developed. The contents of the so called memorandum, which was signed in 1995, were the establishment of an institutionalised cooperation between our two universities at the level of the faculties of architecture. In the course of this the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Transport (today: Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy) decided to grant an annual financial support to the cooperation.

Apart from the people mentioned above the main promoters and supporters of the co-operation were: Dr. Christoph Ramoser, Federal Ministry of Science and Research, Dept. II/7, Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Peter Skalicky, Rector of Vienna University of Technology as well as Univ.-Prof. Dr. Yuryi Rudawsky (1946-2007), Rector of L’vivska Polytechnic from 1991 to 2007. This memorandum was renewed in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 20110 for three years at a time.

From 1995 to 2000 the major “motors” and key figures concerning the agreement were Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Kubelik and Dr. Thomas Schmidt of the Department of Architecture and Architectural Survey of Vienna University of Technology and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bohdan Tscherkes of L’vivska Polytechnic. 

When Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Kubelik left Vienna University of Technology in 2000, Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Klaus Semsroth and Dr. Andreas Hofer of the Department of Urban Design were nominated as successors and coordinators of the cooperation. In 2009, Dr. Elisabeth Leitner from the Department of Urban Design joined the coordination of the Cooperation Program. On the part of L’vivska Polytechnic Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bohdan Tscherkes remained the coordinator of the cooperation.

The recent focus of the cooperation mainly lies on urban development and urban design topics. 


Historical Context of the Cooperation

During the imperial Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the 19th century Vienna University of Technology had several branch universities in the so-called crown lands. One of these was L’vivska Polytechnic, which had been founded in 1844 in Lviv, the then headquarter of the governor of Galicia. The organisational structure of the faculties of both universities was similar and the teaching contents were also harmonised during that era. Thus an active exchange at lecturer and student level developed between Lviv and Vienna, which lasted up until 1918 when the monarchy ended.

The great similarity of the two university buildings furthermore manifests the association between Vienna and Lviv. The four-storey main building of the University of Technology at the Karlsplatz in Vienna had been built as early as 1816 under the direction of the "k.k." (imperial and royal) court building director Josef Schemerl von Leytenbach. When the university building in Lviv was built between 1873 and 1877 the architect Julian Zachariewicz (1837 -1898) adhered very closely to the Viennese model but out of respect reduced the height of the building to three storeys.

As a result of the political reorganisation of Europe after the end of World War I part of Galicia was adjudicated to Poland and Lviv thus became the capital of the Polish voivodship of Lwowskie from 1919 to 1939. Through this the relationship between Vienna University of Technology and L’vivska Polytechnic was interrupted. From 1939 to 1941 Lviv was part of the Soviet Ukraine and from 1941 to 1944 the capital of the district of Galicia under German occupation. In 1944 Lviv became part of the Soviet Union and remained in its sphere of influence until 1990.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Ukrainian state on August 24th, 1991 brought about new framework conditions for both universities and the chance to renew the historical links.