BEHF Architects has implemented an extraordinary biotope of nature and art creating the new ARTSPACE in the center of Austria’s capital.
The source of inspiration for BEHF Architects is the ancient and deep connection between art and the inherent beauty of nature.
ARTSPACE recently won a 2022 Green Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
At the same time, the architects have improved the microclimate and the quality of living in apartments that face the courtyards.
An extensive green roof of the ARTSPACE and the use of vertical greening for firewalls reduce the temperature by up to 4 degrees.
An age-old alliance between art and the inherent beauty that exists in nature, as well as the need to use nature and its resources in an urban context, has been a source of inspiration for BEHF Architects when designing the ARTSPACE.
The center of the concept is an Arts depot nestled smoothly into lush greenery on top of a residential building that faces an inner courtyard.
The starting point for the design has been to convert the conventionally built existing space into the Arts depot and amplify its connection with the surroundings through the use of materials.
By exploring the conflict between openness and enclosure, the architects have developed a design strategy that blurs the traditional boundaries between inside and outside.
A minimalist cubicle in a striking, vivid flame red color has been placed as a shelter for an art and photography collection.
Enhanced by the glass, the color brings light and animates the surroundings with reflections and brilliance.
A continuous flooring covered with lime-green artificial grass allows to completely open the interior to the outdoors and truly blend them.
The ceiling made from stainless-steel panels with a mirroring and slightly wavy surface adds the finishing touch to the unique ambiance.
It reflects a fragmented image of the surroundings, giving the optical effect of gently rippling water.
In harmony with nature, functional areas that are normally neglected have been upgraded and actively used to improve the microclimate.
Thus, the roof of the ARTSPACE, along with the four firewalls, has been intentionally used as a fifth facade.
Thanks to the intensive greening, in addition to the vertical greening of firewalls, actively contributes to an improved quality of living in apartments that face courtyards, and inner-city climate.
The maximum summer temperatures in the inner courtyard can be reduced by up to four degrees Celsius.
ARTSPACE is not just an end but an investment that directly benefits the general public (neighborhood).
ARTSPACE carefully unites the immediate surroundings including the existing greenery, natural features, and picturesque murals painted on the firewalls.
At ARTSPACE, one can experience art and urban nature, and immerse oneself in a unique biotope of animals, plants, and works of art, all in the spirit of sustainable architecture that is in harmony with the environment.
Functional areas become lively and liveable environments, and positively impact the microclimate, aesthetic features, and liveliness.
Architects: BEHF Architects
Lead Architect: Armin Ebner
Photographers: Hertha Hurnaus