Grandstands at the Vienna Harness Racing Track

A modern office in a historical setting

The grandstands at the harness racing track in Vienna are starting out on a new chapter in their history. The building has remained unused for more than 70 years, but after three years of renovation it has now been converted into an office of the future. The aim has been to combine innovation and tradition and to show a pioneering lead in modern working environments. The property developer, Value One, has been able to create an attractive, modern office environment for up to 400 people in a historical setting.

A platform for new working models

The grandstands have been redesigned in accordance with the Activity Based Working model for modern, activity-oriented work. The aim of this concept is to offer a tailor-made working environment spanning alternative ways of working – regardless of whether it is for focused individual work or creative collaboration. This means, in particular, that a range of flexible places is available to choose from in addition to fixed workstations.

Sensors for the workstation

In order to turn this concept into a reality, the key task was to develop solutions within the scope of light and sensor technology. The aim was to improve and optimise both the office building and the well-being of the people who work here. Custom-made BETO free-standing luminaires have been used for this purpose. Sensors have been built into the units that measure light intensity, noise level, air quality and temperature, as well as the presence of people. The sensor-based, free-standing luminaires have been used at all the workstations

Smart luminaires

BETO with IoT Sensor

The information collected through the BETO units is logged in a cloud storage, where it can be retrieved to run automated processes or stored as data for optimisation. Within daily routines, for example, this allows workplace occupancy or a specified sound level threshold at the workstation to be communicated via control lights. The custom-made free-standing luminaires thus offer the user greater comfort, reduce operating costs and contribute to making the building more climate-sensitive.

XCS Customised Solutions

"The innovation essentially comes down to the large volume of sensors and intelligence that have been integrated, almost invisibly, into a stylish office luminaire, from which the data is completely open to access by the customer's existing systems."

Georg König, XAL Department Head Digital Lighting Solutions

Grandstand view of the harness racing track

Directly in front of the office space of the converted grandstands you have a wonderful view over the racecourse, where harness races still take place today. During the renovation, emphasis was placed on preserving the old original features. So, the floors, stairs and railings are still original. The windows from the former ticket counters have also been preserved. Communication zones such as project islands and conference areas have been created for pleasant daily working. Quiet areas such as a library and noise-reduced soft meeting areas complement the new office concept.


Networking is the future. There are currently four times as many Internet-enabled devices as there are people on this planet. The real challenges and opportunities for the Internet of Things lie in gaining added value from existing information. This added value is created by networking the lights and sensors that are distributed in buildings.

Georg König, Department Head Digital Lighting Solutions, XAL GmbH
Georg König, Department Head Digital Lighting Solutions, XAL GmbH



surface / suspended system
New Version


free standing

Photographer: Kurt Kuball
Interior Design: Marcel Wanders studio
Architect: Martin Kohlbauer
Video: Video footage Trabrennbahn © Filmarchiv Austria