For a Lively City District: Mixed-Use Building by Franz&Sue in Vienna
Foto: Andreas Buchberger
Mixed-use buildings present planners with complex tasks. Ceiling heights and floor plans, accessways and fire protection must all be considered along with the specific requirements of users and residents, as well as concrete spatial qualities. In Vienna’s Sonnwendviertel the Stadtelefant, the neighbourhood centre designed by Franz&Sue, is an exemplary structure that is sure to initiate a trend.
The clients behind the robust, exposed-concrete building are three associated architecture studios that joined two closely related companies to form a commercial building consortium. This constellation is in itself quite unconventional and may well contribute to mutual understanding in much of the decision-making behind the cooperative planning.
Diversity of Use
The exposed-concrete building stacks its functions horizontally over seven storeys. The ground floor is home to a restaurant that is not only for the employees from the offices, but for the public as well. The Architecture in Progress association and the Austrian Architecture Foundation share the coworking space on the ground floor. The combination of public functions at ground level creates a destination in the district, one that is suitable for events and can be used by residents and neighbours alike. The upper levels are devoted to offices, while the two topmost storeys accommodate four apartments, some of which are conceived as maisonettes. The 3.2-metre ceiling height runs through the entire building; open floor plans divided only by a core for sanitary installations and the central stairway provide flexible possibilities for use, not only today, but with a view to the future as well.