This project proposes an enclave of housing and cultural centers in the center of Vienna. The present condition of global mass migration provides an opportunity for the cultivation of new ideas from an integration of cuHures. Much of what the city identffies itself by today was developed by refugees in the past. Cultural confluence will foster understanding and tolerance and argument the diversity of viennese culture with new forms of urban life. Like modern urban dwellers, refugees have a nomadic life, thus permanent structures are proposed for impermanent inhabitants. new forms of nomadic communal living arrangements are explored. The site lies beyond the Naschmarkt, between the Linke Wienzeile and the Rechte Wienzeile. It extends to the opening of the Wien River leading to Linz, where Johannes Kepler finished writing ’The Harmony of the Worlds’. Centrally located near the historic cuHural center ’Ringstraße’, it sits perpendicular to it, implying a divergence from the past. Already a place of ethnic exchange in the food halls and flea market, the StadHbahn and Wien river further evoke metaphors of travel and communication. Previous nomads at the site were the homeless who resided in the tunnels below during the fin de siecle, hence; the missing Link ’Hat Object’ ist reconstructed here. The position of housing bars and cultural buildings,create a series of overlapping spaces. The existing north-south streets terminate in ’pockets’ where small squares are formed which become entries to the housing units as well as a space to enter the relocated markets. Along the east-west axis of the site, larger ’pockets’ of space allow for the continuity of the market where refugees can sell their wares. There ist access to the canal below, and the ’Underwasser’bar.
The entire site itself is a ’pocket’ in the city fabric where long, thin prismatic housing bars and counterpoint cultural blocks sit like hieroglyphics in the traditional Viennese syntax of large masonry perimeter block buildings. The cuHural centers sit in ’pockets’ of space between the housing bars and are entered by ramps resembling pieces of a broken Ringstrasse. Single and two story ’pockets’ of space located in the housing bars allow for smaller community gathering spaces. The housing bars are formed by units of 22 m2, placed along a single loaded corridor. A familiy or individuals can share a room and bath. In section, the corridor can switch to facing inward or outward towards the streets, again rendering the idea of ’pocketed’ space. Large terraces and laundry rooms are located along the corridors while communal facilities for the entire housing bar, such as kitchens, dining areas, recreation and meeting rooms, are located where the bars turn inward to form the street ’pockets’. This proposal has the capacity of housing approximately 3000 refugees on a site comparable in size to the Karl-Marx-Hof. Upon the slowing down of the refugee influx, portions of the housing could be converted into other types of semi-communal living arrangements such as: hotels, hostels, or elderly housing. The entire construction is made of pre-fabricated elements (precast concrete columns, beams and planks, a glass and metal curtain wall system, swinging door panels, aluminum louvers and corrugated glass walls) based on a modular system. Viennas rich cuHural history of the early twentieth century was formed by many great thinkers who themselves were forced to seek refuge from Austria, such as: Arnold Schšnberg, Robert Musil, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, Josef Frank, etc. It is to these names that the cultural buildings for such arts as: music, literature, philosohpy, psychology, architecture, etc. are dedicated. The housing bars are dedicated to Lorenz Seftel and his familiy: Judah, Bertha, Cilia and Kurt, who fled 28 Rembrandtstraße a day after Kristallnacht and found refuge in Holland and America.
Aus SOS Aufbau-Wohnen — Ideen für ein neues soziales Bauen. Entwürfe zum Thema Flüchtlings- und Integrationswohnbau, Wien 1993.