Nikolaiplatz as it stands today was a process of conversional development which took its shape over a period of time. While the architectural style (as well as the desired building density) changed, the site layout remained stably constant.
The building stands on a property, which was initially a boathouse at the river` Mur´ (back then an unregulated river course ) four centuries ago. Later a doubled story storage shed was built and even later -in the 80’s the entire area was rebuilt to an underground parking. The storage shed was discontinued, however the property remained in its exact size and position. In order to make a subsequent building possible the construction of the garage within the range of property was laid out for a double story land development in a solid construction.
Today our building stands on the property – and fills it perfectly to the last millimeter, the number of floors increased by 2,5 times. This became possible by creating a consistent lightweight construction with a complex rust distributor under the building. This distributes – today invisible – the concentrated loads of steel frame bearings which support the underground parking and which are distributed differently on the area.
The clear volume and elegant development reacts precisely to the heterogeneous situation concerning city planning which we came across. On the one side – towards Entenplatz- the house becomes a boundary of space, on the other side – towards Nikolaiplatz – depicts a free standing aesthetic solitaire. A building, which becomes a sculpture through its simplicity.
The closed facade components – externally covered with a silver gold resplendent cover coating – accommodate shelves and archives ( depending upon the users desire ) on the inside and become variable thick blocks.
Location: Graz, Austria
Architects: Atelier Thomas Pucher / www.thomaspucher.com – Bramberger Architects / www.bramberger-architects.at
Design Team: Thomas Pucher, Alfred Bramberger, Martin Mathy, Hans Waldhör, Ingmar Zwirn, David Klemmer, Christof Schermann, Boris Murnig, Sahar Arjomand Bigdely.
Area: 1.400 m² GFA
Building costs: 1 Million Euro
Main Materials: Aluminum, Metal, Glass, Steel
Photographer: Andreas Buchberger – Vienna, Austria