housing Koppstraße

location: 1160, Vienna Map Pin
built: 1999
units: 200

building contractor: Gesiba

© photos: Margherita Spiluttini/Manfred Seidl

The multi-storey building begins as a single plane, the surface of a piece land designated to be made inhabitable. This naturally means coming up with a system of rules for determining what should be street and what should be building. We begin with the street (path), upon which we lay the buildable lot (parcel), and connect both pieces with an outdoor zone (greenery). The cell is further divided into "server" and "served" spaces. This now inhabitable strip of land is then stacked to match the context and scale of the city.
A multi-storey housing complex thus becomes a urban landscape in the vertical, literally. The individual floors are viewed only as horizontal repetitive layers of the same landscape. The number of layers provides the urban scale.
In the next phase, an order in the infrastructure is brought upon these inhabited "strips", one obeying the laws of economy, statics and openness of this housing type.
The suggested floor plans for the various dwelling sizes all stem from a loft-type layout. The open "served" zone (surrounded by a shell of interior and exterior rooms) is attached to a centered service block. Through the neutrality of these individual rooms, their ability to dock or undock onto this main space, a planning method is created whereby the varying lifestyles of the inhabitants are not dictated by the plan.
Important to us is the idea that the building isn’t simply to be perceived as an object fixed to a bound to some initial concept but rather, an object capable of providing multiple urban readings, a continuum of space, a multi-use structure, varying in its interpretation by those inhabitating it.
Not architecture but its use stands in the foreground. Only then does the concept unfold and present its many facets. The unforeseen thus becomes not only the accepted, it is set as a point of reference. An responsive concept, able to react to our dynamic, fast paced, and multifarious society - a mirrored image of our times.
In contrast to the singular dwelling, the building in its entity - as a form in public space - defines a clear street space and lays, therefore, the framework in which people can come together.