Innovative housing in Vienna and Zürich; Japanese office design; Düsseldorf makeover and an orderly Swiss kindergarden.
This new apartment block has been slotted into a row of existing buildings on the outskirts of Vienna. While most of the facade lines up with the rest of the street, the ground floor has been set back to create an entrance that is protected from the elements. The interior is characterised by a generously laid-out floor plan and open loggias.
The building has been designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects which was founded in 1993 in Vienna. The team working with architects Elke Delugan-Meissl and Roman Delugan is made up of three associated partners and 12 employees. The practice of 17 is now working on a series of projects across Europe. Residential developers in London need them.
Start of planning 06/2003
Start of construction 02/2004
Gross surface area 2,595 sq m
Site area 883 sq m
Built-up area 462 sq m
Total apartments 2131,953 sq m
2000 Mischek Tower, Donaucity, Vienna
2003 House Ray1, Vienna
2004 Apartment Unit 8-II “Deep Surface”, Phoenix City Beijing, China
2008 Porsche Museum, Stuttgart
2009 Filmmuseum, Amsterdam
Like a gentle giant, this large housing complex makes a bold impression on a hillside outside Zürich. But its roof, which mirrors the tree line, helps to avoid any feeling of menace.
The building is a complex set of different apartment styles, craftily interlocking to enable a variety of floor plans. It has been built by collaborative practice Pool Architects which was formed in 1998.
Corporate Japan does a good job at first impressions – perfectly coiffed receptionists, soaring ceilings and the best materials are all essential features in office lobbies.
But step out of the lift and on to a standard office floor and it’s usually a sea of soft-grey furniture, grey carpet tiles and teal or royal-blue upholstery. All of this is under the glare of convenience store lighting – not what the salary men pulling all-nighters really want.
Spotting a gaping hole in the market, designer Ryuichi Kitamura has just launched his Seamless collection of softer, more sympathetic office furniture.
Built around a series of modular pieces in steel and wood, Seamless has already received an order for record label Avex and is set to become a staple collection among Japan’s creative community.
“People spend such long hours in their offices in Japan that we wanted to create better environments at affordable prices,” says Kitamura. Having launched their core collection, the studio wants to tackle those eternal issues like tangled cords and poorly placed sockets. We wish them luck.
Education authorities busy building “classrooms of the future” (UK) should board a flight to Switzerland, because it has already been built. Reinach-based firm Wenger Partner has built a kindergarten so handsome it demands a wing for international boarders. Kinder in Arlesheim have the luxury of attending a pre-school that not only offers a pleasant environment for finger painting but also early immersion in the finer points of Swiss construction and architecture.
From the outside it looks like a traditional 1930s German house, but a radical reworking of the interior has created the kind of spaces that remind you of a grand pavilion.
Zürich-based practice Instant produced new volume in the Dusseldorf property – but without leaving it feeling soulless. There are lots of clever, intriguing, touches in the detailing that help overcome the boundaries between old and new.