Nächstes Projekt 14/20  

Januar / Februar 2024

Technische Universität Wien

The Existing as a Resource

Adapting the Europa-Pavillon in Vienna for Living

von Pamela Maldonado Vallejos


Technische Universität Wien






Institut für Architektur und Entwerfen / Forschungsbereich für Gebäudelehre und Entwerfen / Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. M.Arch. (AA Dist) Tina Gregoric




Archicad, Enscape, Photoshop, InDesign

It is common practice to change development plans in Vienna to justify demolition in favor of new construction. We are demolishing buildings of the late 1990s due to the obsolescence of their program, even if the high quality of their materials and construction could support a change of use. Compared to older buildings in which rehabilitation is often not possible, buildings of the 1990s do not need to be changed to the core since there is a bigger chance that they already comply with specific regulations regarding: accessibility, fire protection, and energy efficiency.

This diploma challenges the declared obsolescence of the now-demolished 23 years old Europa-Pavillon in Vienna and proposes an alternative to total demolition. The combination of adaptive reuse and material reuse is used to extend the life of the building. The project involves the minimal demolition and expansion of the Europa-Pavillon. The design goal is not to fulfill an exact program but to reuse the existing conditions of the materials and the spatial configuration. Every intervention is guided by the reusability potential of the materials and components.

The research in the Material and Component Catalogue builds the foundation for the design. It is important to understand what happens to a material and component when it leaves the building, and what happens with the building when this material or component is removed. Materials and components that are problematic when removed, should rather be kept and the design will work with them.

The adaptation of the Europa-Pavillon provides barrier-free housing in combination with a cafe, atelier, workspaces, and a physical therapy center. Most partition walls and wet areas remain in place. Some new wooden frame walls are added to define living spaces. A new layer of loggias in the direction of the courtyard introduces quality without taking square meters from the park. A timber frame extension of the first and second floors is added to the north end of the building and the main entrance to the building gains definition because of the new volume. An addition occupies the available area of the former roof terrace. The new load-bearing walls follow the existing rhythm and grid of the skeleton structure and position of the existing installation shafts of the floors below. The new floor accommodates ten new apartments, that range from 1 to 4 bedrooms, with at least one private outdoor space.

This approach results in approximately 80% of the building remaining on site. Around 60% of the extracted components are relocated on-site and integrated into the new design. The construction industry is responsible for a third of the world's waste. If the same practices towards existing buildings prevail, the quantity of generated waste is destined to grow. A fundamental shift in our approach towards the existing building stock is urgent.
Text von Pamela Maldonado Vallejos.