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Housing for young people must meet three conditions: It must be affordable, should respond flexibly to changing situations and offer generous interior and exterior spaces for communication.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Type: Residential – Housing
Architects: Synn Architekten – www.synn.at
Site Area: 2.449 m²
Built-up Area: 979,5 m²
Construction: solid building, prefabricated concrete
Total Number of Apartments: 84
Photos: Manfred Seidl
The project offers small economic units – “mini-lofts” -with a flexible floor plan (one or two room flats) – the fixed sanitary box manages the spatial separation. A “smart wall” covers the back wall of the unit and includes the kitchen and storage facilities. The apartments are functioning as one- or two-room family dwellings and are organized by a function block (toilet, bath) where equivalent rooms are arranged around. These rooms can be put together as needed (wardrobe, curtains, light weight wall) and thus change to two or three bedroom apartments.
With its compact housing units on one side, on the other side the supply of differentiated but flexible open spaces for communication and social interaction is a central task. These are the common areas in the floors – we call them the floating gardens – and other open spaces on the ground floor including the “sunken garden” as the connecting theme of the neighborhood.
The building itself is lifted above the service facilities on the ground floor to generate a covered open space. Like boxes the storerooms for waste, bicycles and strollers are pushed under the building as a continuation of the open space concept. Dominant colors accentuate these boxes at the ground floor. The spacious and covered outdoor areas under the building can be used as meeting places – they are directly connected to the adjacent paths, leading to the district-related green and open spaces.
Two times the aisle lying in the middle of the building leads to the long sides against the facade – the “floating gardens”. These fully glazed common areas serve as meeting places, chill out areas or spaces for events and also as exposure of the aisle. From roof windows the natural light spreads through cuts in the floors into the circulation core, down to the ground floor. During night these holes in the floors serve as a light sculpture for the exposure of the aisle.
The roof as a rest area for sunbathing, chatting, or as a meeting place for mothers with young children can be reached via the elevator.
The buildings equipment also refers to young living and allows for some self-formation. Kitchen and cabinets are arranged on the wall to the aisle, allowing the installation of standard kitchen and closet systems without major adjustments.