14 December 2015
Against the background of the refugee crisis, the contribution to the 2016 Architecture Biennale not only occupies the pavilion in Venice but also decentrally addresses real projects in Vienna. More concretely, three teams were commissioned to work together with NGOs to plan and accompany the adaptation of vacant buildings for the temporary accommodation of people while their asylum claims are processed. The objective of these interventions is to create humane living spaces for those affected, to subject architecture’s responsibility for social issues to a reality check and to present the results to a broad public in Venice.
11 December 2015
The multifunctional station and building complex "Wien Mitte" is the largest urban construction in Vienna since the Ringstrassen era and one of the most protracted and controversial construction projects in the past three decades. In a situation in which several verdicts on this building already seemed to be passed before it ever was completed, the publication attempts an unbiased and objective gander at the project.
2 November 2015
The long-established Viennese furniture maker Seliger possesses not only a level of know-how about traditional craft techniques that is rarely to be found today but also a workshop which is capable of meeting the most unusual special requests. The traditional family-owned company used these special features as the basis for the development of a future strategy characterised at every turn by the term “bespoke” and the quality that the term conveys. Measures implemented so far include visual communication and the interior design of the company’s premises as well as the launch of a special range of furniture and elements of furnishing in collaboration with Austrian architects and designers.
11 October 2015
In contrast with the dubious past of similar institutions, Alois-Stacher Haus was designed by its architects not as a hospital but, explicitly, as a residential building which treats its elderly residents as autonomous users rather than as disabled persons per se. However, as the residents spend a lot of time in the building, the concept behind the artistic intervention is based on the idea of using individual measures to strengthen connections between the internal spaces and the city and to render changes in the outside world perceptible to those inside the building.
“Flying Gardens” is the title given by the studio mischer'traxler to the kinetic installations which they created for the two central internal courtyards which are inaccessible for reasons of safety. These installations dissolve the static appearance of the areas of water and greenery in the two courtyards by means of a gentle, vertical movement which creates a dynamic, floating, three-dimensional image of nature. A further installation in the entrance area translates weather data measured on the roof of the building into a similar, continuously changing setting which, once again, recalls natural processes.
The wall designs by the artist Marlene Hausegger facilitate a similar process of transfer from outside to inside, although this is achieved using technical and formally minimal means. The motifs for the six large areas of wall adjacent to the lift landings also draw from natural phenomena and were created using a total of 51,640 off-the-shelf coloured tacks which were positioned by hand.
Dependent upon the angle of observation, these quasi “pointillist” compositions produce a varying, dynamic image which, thanks to the additional haptic component, can also be perceived by simple touch.
4 October 2015
Developed in cooperation with LAAC Architekten, the exhibition concept for the design of the five visitors’ stations which it is planned to create in the Ötztal Nature Park was named as the winner of an invited competition. Given the programmatic title “Nature on Stage”, the chosen approach emphasises the contrast between natural occurrence and human intervention while proposing a trajectory which is inspired by High Alpine nature while recognizing the fundamentally artificial character of this landscape and making it easier to experience its extremes. Covering a total of 510 km2 - including 95 km2 of glacier - the protected area in Tyrol’s Ötztal forms one of Austria’s largest nature parks.
The focus of the first station is a relief at the scale of 1:20,000 which offers an overview of the area and is animated by an interactive laser installation. With the help of a touchscreen, users can locate – and gain more information about - more than 70 locations of scientific significance. The open display case on the rear wall is formally inspired by the contours of the Ötztal and presents aspects of the landscape which correspond with the five levels of the valley as it climbs from
north to south
A photographic installation from Peter Stöckl complements the installation by illustrating biodiversity through the example of butterflies, which have even been shown to be live amongst the glaciers at an altitude of over 3,000 metres.
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