Platz 7
Nächstes Projekt 07/20  

November / Dezember 2015

Technische Universität Wien

Living in small volumes and big spaces

min volume - max space

von Thomas Rögelsperger


Technische Universität Wien






Institut für Architektur und Entwerfen, e253.2 Abteilung für Wohnbau und Entwerfen, Cuno Brullmann, Em.O.Univ.Prof. DI




Archicad, Rhinoceros, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign

Isolation and segregation roam the empty streets in grey residential areas, populate supermarkets and Facebook. Our streets have been reduced to tunnels, merely serving as a way of transportation. Haussmann-era city planning quelled the communication between private strongholds and public space. Modernist concepts such as Le Corbusier's Radiant City or Ebenezer Howard's Garden City further stripped public spaces of their liveliness.

This project aims to reanimate a rather monotone side street suffering from a lack of diversity. It introduces a novel mixed use building concept for a typical Viennese Gründerzeit block. The building volume occupies 100 percent of the plot and is also higher than its surrounding objects. But instead of completely filling the volume with apartments, a big gap, enclosed by a glass facade, is left in the perimeter development. More daylight reaches the street and pedestrians are allowed to look through the entire building. The gap becomes a threshold space which starkly clashes with the surrounding monofunctional buildings, whose rampart-like facades demarcate public and private spaces. Thus, the street facade can be entirely opened. As a continuation of the street, a public living room stretches over the full length of the plot. It stimulates chance encounters by providing a big space for different activities to happen in parallel.

In analogy to a sailboat at sea, the design links intimate cabins with vast open space. A series of bridges for private use, some exposed and airy, others more protected, cross the gap. The small shelters for withdrawal from external acoustic and visual factors are situated in three towers. The bridges connect the towers with a scaffolding, 3 meters thin, containing the staircases and elevators, as well as washing and cooking facilities. One's living environment is not restricted to a single part of the building, but can rather spread over the entire structure. Two spectacular terraces and a roof top sauna function as a crucible for the community.

Rather than relying on commerce or politics, this project allows the residents themselves to incorporate the street into their living and working environment. The design yields threshold spaces for casual public and community activities. It offers different degrees of privacy in radically exposed or protected areas, affordable, yet luxurious.