Ringturm (Ring Tower) is a prominent skyscraper in Vienna, Austria, and is the headquarters of the Vienna Insurance Group. It was built from 1953 to 1955 after a design by Erich Boltenstern at the Schottenring. The tower is 73 m (240 ft) tall, with 12,000 m2 (130,000 sq ft) of office space, and is the second highest building within the Vienna Ringstraße, after the Stephansdom. It is a venue for architecture exhibitions, and is known for being turned into a piece of art annually, wrapped in cloth designed by notable artists including Robert Hammerstiel, Xenia Hausner, Arnulf Rainer and Mihael Milunović.

Wien 01 Ringturm 2014 a.jpg
Ringturm from the Donaukanal
General information
StatusOffice building
Town or cityVienna
Coordinates48°13′1″N 16°22′13″E / 48.21694°N 16.37028°E / 48.21694; 16.37028Coordinates: 48°13′1″N 16°22′13″E / 48.21694°N 16.37028°E / 48.21694; 16.37028
Construction started1953 (1953)
Completed1955 (1955)
Opening1955 (1955)
OwnerVienna Insurance Group
Height73 m (240 ft)
Technical details
Floor count23
Floor area12,000 m2 (130,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectErich Boltenstern


The Ringturm tower was built from 1953 to 1955 after a design by Erich Boltenstern [de] at the Schottenring, part of the Vienna Ringstraße.[1][2] The tower of 73 m (240 ft) was an innovative project when Vienna was reconstructed after World War II.[3] The building was erected on a property that held the only building of the Schottenring demolished in the war.[2] At 23 floors, it is the second highest building within the Vienna Ringstraße, after the Stephansdom.[1][2] The building has 12,000 m2 (130,000 sq ft) of office space, and is the headquarters of the Vienna Insurance Group. It also houses offices of the Wiener Stadtwerke [de].[2] The facade and some other parts were reconstructed in 1996.[4]


The name was found by a competition. It was chosen from 6,502 suggestions, including City-Haus, Gutwill-Haus, Haus der Gegenseitigkeit, Hoch-Eck, Neues Hochhaus and Sonnblick-Haus.[2]

Weather beaconEdit

On top of the tower is a weather beacon (Wetterleuchtturm) 20 m (66 ft) in height. Its 117 lamps (39 white, red and green) indicate weather predictions for the following day by partly blinking and moving combinations. It is connected to the ZAMG (Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik), the centre for weather forecast on the Hohe Warte. The top has two aircraft warning lights.[2]

Beacon indicators
  • red lights increasing in luminosity = rising temperature
  • red lights decreasing in luminosity = falling temperature
  • green lights increasing in luminosity = improving weather
  • green lights decreasing in luminosity = worsening weather
  • green lights with uniform luminosity = steady weather
  • red lights blinking = storm warning
  • white lights blinking = snow or black ice

Exhibition and eventsEdit

Beginning in 1998, architectural exhibitions have been displayed in the entrance hall free of charge. A series Architektur im Ringturm is focused on architecture of Austria, Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Regular television series of the ORF have been produced in the building, including Lebenskünstler [de] with Helmut Zilk[5] and Kabarett im Turm [de].[6]


Since 2006, the Ringturm has been transformed into a piece of art each summer by being wrapped in cloth designed by prominent artists from Austria and Eastern Europe.[1] The cloth consists of 30 pieces, each 36 m (118 ft) wide and 63 m (207 ft) long.[7]

The projects have included:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Chronik / 65 Jahre Ringturm". wien.orf.at (in German). 14 June 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Der Ringturm am Schottenring in Wien". austria-forum.org (in German). Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  3. ^ Seltenstem, Erich (1955). "Der Ringturm. Das Bürohaus der Städtischen Versicherung". Der Aufbau. Vienna: Stadtbaudirektion Wien. 10: 214.
  4. ^ a b "Xenia Hausner schmückt den Ringturm" (in German). ORF. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  5. ^ Helmut Zilk / Lehrer, Politiker, Opfer (in German) falter.at 6 June 2007, retrieved 30 December 2020
  6. ^ Der ORF-Fernsehsommer: Viel Kabarett und Comedy. ORF, retrieved 19 March 2017
  7. ^ Ringturmverhüllung http://www.vig.com, retrieved on 7 August 2013. (in German)
  8. ^ "Ringturm von "Gesellschaft" verhüllt" (in German). 8 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Schleier der Agnes" umhüllt Ringturm ORF 16 June 2014. (in German)
  10. ^ Ringturm wird "Sorgenfrei" verhüllt ORF 23 May 2015, retrieved 23 May 2016. (in German)
  11. ^ Zehnte Verhüllung des Wiener Ringturms bietet "Weitblick". Der Standard 15 May 2017, retrieved 15 May 2017. (in German)
  12. ^ Helnwein verhüllt den Ringturm. ORF 16 May 2018, retrieved 16 May 2018. (in German)
  13. ^ Kinderastronaut verhüllt Ringturm. ORF 10 May 2019, retrieved 10 May 2019. (in German)
  14. ^ "Wiener Ringturm feiert 65. Geburtstag" (in German). 12 June 2020.

Further readingEdit

  • Adolph Stiller: Der Ringturm. 5 Jahrzehnte Baugeschichte eines Hochhauses (in German). Verlag Anton Pustet, Salzburg 1998, ISBN 3-7025-0382-X.
  • Wiener Städtische Versicherung (ed.): 50 Jahre Ringturm. Von Österreich ins geeinte Europa: Unternehmenssitz – Menschen – Geschichte (in German). Echomedia, Wien, 2005, ISBN 3-901761-50-0.

External linksEdit