Christian Aulinger and Mark Gilbert from trans_city ZT and Jakob Fina Landscape Architecture prove that a low budget does not necessarily mean low quality in their design for “Marchfeld Terrassen” Housing in Anton-Shal-Gasse for SiedlungsUNION Gemeinnützige Wohnungs- u. Siedlungsgen.m.b.H in Vienna.
The project’s low-cost but high-quality architecture combines affordability and tactile detailing with a remarkably agile and sculptural response to its particular site.
The plot of the Anton-Schall-Gasse is bracketed by the wooded pastures of the Marchfeld Canal Park to the north and the Ernst-Theumer-Hof to the south, a very charming 1980s housing estate with a long, green common at its center.
The composition of ASG’ s two distinct and differently sized blocks form a crown-like terminus for the Theumer-Hof’s green axis, while delineating a strongly defined edge towards the canal.
For its dedicated design, “Marchfeld Terrassen” has recently been awarded a 2022 International Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The facade of this northwest edge was given a serrated front that optimizes natural lighting and provides views.
The saw-tooth form also served as the generating principle for the entire estate.
It produces an offset grid that locates structural axes, subdivides space, organizes the sky-lit corridors, and generates distinctive floor plans with an unusually high ratio of exterior wall-to-floor space.
Sets of curved balconies–extrapolated from the grid–provide the apartments with outdoor space and lend the architecture an expressive note.
Exact planning and the application of cutting-edge building technology reduced the construction costs of the building shells: the exterior load-bearing walls consist of robot-assembled, prefabricated brick walls, and the defining grid is precisely coordinated with industry-standard shuttering for poured-in-place concrete decks.
The architects at trans_city believe that the tactile qualities of architecture are decisive: they are what gives pleasure and lead the building’s inhabitants–and its neighbors–to identify with the work.
Savings garnered through the thoughtful construction of the building’s shell were invested in high-quality, handmade detailing.
The curves of the balconies are precise and smooth, their surfaces rendered in a combed stucco that plays in the light.
Lightly contrasting, alternating bands of smooth and combed stucco accentuate the sculptural lines of the building.
Patterned surfaces of glazed ceramic bricks highlight the building’s entrances and enliven the central court of the ensemble.
The “Marchfeld Terrassen” go beyond low-cost housing, embodying a site-sensitive architecture that is concerned with the well-being of its inhabitants.
Project: Marchfeld Terrassen Housing in Anton-Schall-Gasse
Architects: trans_city ZT
Lead Architects: Christian Aulinger and Mark Gilbert
Design Team: Matthias Brandmaier, Tana Kubikova, Markus Steiner, and Manuel Pawelka
Associate Architects: Jakob Fina Landscape Architecture
General Contractor: RhombergBau / Vienna Office
Client: SiedlungsUNION Gemeinnützige Wohnungs- u. Siedlungsgen.m.b.H.
Photographers: Daniel Hawelka and David Schreyer