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Sunlight for all: New Approaches to Apartment Design

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on September 14th, 2009

Source: World Architects


From Stacked, layered, condensed by Isabella Marboe, arkitektur.aktuell.

“Every apartment should have between two and three hours of sunshine and a relatively large outdoor area of its own.”

In the rigid block grid of Favoriten, Vienna,  architects Rüdiger Lainer + Partner have carried out an innovative antithesis to the standard block perimeter development.

On a site measuring 9,855 m2 the developer, Heimbau & Eisenhof, wanted to erect a children’s day care centre and 250 apartments with a gross floor area of 32,037 m2. The architects took a gamble – and won. They rejected the constraint of a block edge development up to 25 metres deep.  Instead the volume required by the brief was innovatively reorganized and combined to create four free-shaped colourful buildings that now soar towards the sky like futuristic inhabitable concrete mountains.  With cheekily projecting elements the buildings capture the bright sunny heights above the block and form squares and paths. Each of them is a different size, with a different configuration, is stepped differently and perforated by visual axes and loggias.

Many verandas clamber up the hole-in-the-wall facade. They are made of pre-fabricated concrete elements, glazed on three sides, with a roof light in the centre. One side wall is organically curved: matrices of bamboo were placed in their formwork, in the winter gardens behind real plants grow.

“The density called for was very high,” says Rüdiger Lainer, “our aim was, nevertheless, that every apartment should have between two and three hours of sunshine and a relatively large outdoor area of its own.” From these aspirations the architects developed the form of the buildings that are oriented according to the view and the entry of light. The lines of the walls and the heights are structured in such a way that they do not rob each other or the neighbours of sun or a view. No exemptions from the building regulations were necessary. “We applied the building regulations in a very specific way”, Lainer explains. “Moving back from the block edge allowed us to step the volume upwards at the centre.”

The free-standing buildings offer a wonderful panorama over the skyline of Favoriten. The roofs are designed with flower beds that can be rented and individually planted, benches surrounded by pergolas, terraces and a sauna building to provide recreation spaces for everyone.

Read  Stacked, layered, condensed by Isabella Marboe, on arkitektur.aktuell.

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