Group & Business

UNIted Tower: The UNIQA Tower lights the way for the international community

01.02.2022 5 minutes reading time

18 countries, 23,500 employees, one mission: to be the community for a better life. UNIQA sends out a shining signal and illuminates the façade of the headquarters in Vienna with the flags of all 18 countries where UNIQA is active. 

Since the beginning of 2022, the UNIQA Tower in the centre of Vienna has been lit up with the flags of all 18 Central and Eastern European countries in which UNIQA operates. The individual country flags – from Albania to Hungary – can be seen in an endless loop on the over 7,000 square metre LED external façade of the UNIQA Tower. Anyone who follows the lights carefully will see something else at the end of the loop: our guiding principle of "living better together" spelled out in lights.

With the UNIted Tower we want to combine the international UNIQA brand with our strong sense of community and establish a visible sign of cohesion because we know that together we can move further on the path to a better life. That is why we want to lead the way as a strong community and inspire others with our vision.

UNIted Tower

Our internationality enables us to use valuable synergies within the UNIQA Group, to learn from each other and to pour our bundled expertise into innovative products and solutions for our around 15.5 million customers. In addition, especially in challenging times like these, we would like to appeal to the strength of the community: Together we are stronger, more courageous, safer and can achieve more than we can alone. 

René Knapp, Chief HR & Brand Officer at UNIQA Insurance Group AG 

The brightly lit UNIQA Tower as ambassador 

In order for such a project to take place, the right technology combined with a little background tinkering are of course required. Erwin Gruber, mastermind behind the UNIQA Tower displays, answers the most important questions.

How did the UNIQA Tower's LED-façade come about?

We moved into the UNIQA Tower in 2004, and at the turn of 2005 the lighting was added “as the icing on the cake”. The LED lighting for the tower was extremely innovative at the time. To this day there is hardly anything comparable in Austria – and as a media façade it is still unique. At the beginning, the basic intention of the lighting was to underline the architecture. We now use them consciously to convey messages. There are five regular displays that are changed weekly, and also themed displays such as the “Name Tower” and the blue tower for “World Health Day”.

What are the greatest challenges when preparing a new display? How exactly is it done?

The challenge is that the display should be readable also when close up. Since the tower is not a flat screen, but the LEDs are located in the window axes around the tower, a lot of work has to be done in the background to ensure that everything is easy to read from as many perspectives as possible. We achieve this with the help of a complex, computer-controlled matrix system.

Keyword sustainability: Isn't lighting that runs for hours expensive and consumes an unnecessary amount of electricity?

We are asked this question again and again, but I am not even remotely concerned in this case: Thanks to the energy-saving LED façade, the tower display only needs as much electricity per evening as an average single-family house does in one day. As a “green tower”, the UNIQA Tower also uses sustainable energy sources such as geothermal energy, and architectural features such as in-between façades in order to function in an energy-efficient manner. UNIQA has also imposed strict protection for the sake of the local residents: the light sensor only activates the lighting when it gets dark. It runs at 80 percent until 10 pm, and only at 50 percent of the possible maximum light intensity until midnight.

The UNIQA Tower lighting

Around 160,000 LED lights installed in the window axes regularly illuminate the approximately 7,000 square meter outer facade. The 21-storey building on the Danube Canal opposite the Urania is illuminated daily from dusk until midnight. In addition to the UNIted Tower, the “Werteturm” is also a special highlight.