Monday, November 18, 2013

From John Prebble : Teaching Tax in a Sculpture Park

John Prebble (customarily at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) sends over this post from Austria, where he is currently teaching a course on “Jurisprudential Perspectives of Taxation Law” in WU (Vienna University)’s doctoral programme in international business taxation. As you can see from his remarks below, this would be a very fun place to do a doctorate.

John Prebble

In September 2013, the Institute for Austrian and International Tax Law, together with all the rest of Wirtschaftsuniversit√§t Wien, moved to an entirely new campus, on land on the edge of the Prater, Vienna’s equivalent of Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York, between the Danube and the Danube Canal. The campus design and the buildings were the product of international competitions.

For gastprofessors like myself, it’s like teaching in a sculpture park: I was the first occupant of the study that projects from the fourth floor of the orange and yellow Law School, designed by Sir Peter Cook, architect of the London Olympic Stadium. The exterior timbers are purely a “poetic fancy”; from the inside your eye scarcely registers them as you focus on the view beyond:


Next is the teaching building, by Carme Pinós, of Barcelona, where I had first use of one of the new lecture theatres. The rusty look of the cladding is indeed rust, but a special sort of rust that protects its steel, so there is no need for paint:


Finally, below are the exterior and interior of the library, by Zaha Hadid, from her Hamburg office. The elevated wedge is the main reading room. Readers’ desks are in tiers and point roughly south-west, giving everyone marvellous views across the woodlands of the Prater. The atrium is an excellent example of the famous sinuous lines of Ms Hadid’s work.


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