Rendezvous – 6 Types and Open Space

A question as loophole to evade the dead end of the “urban development of building mass”: How do I get home? Regardless of whether by car, bicycle, or foot: the act of “coming home” becomes an essential design narrative.

Once again this competition faces us with a paradoxical yet compelling challenge: How can housing construction itself become an instrument of urban development? How can an achievable balance between an attractive living milieu and “urbanity” in the sense of address generation for the surroundings be organized? Here, address generation is means to simultaneously create a memory space for an area without established or explicit memories. To this end, Rendezvous proposes two tools: “typological assembly” and “topographical settling.”

Typological Assembly

Various housing types, which are otherwise spread out as parcels of land, here generate a field of dense living. The specific configuration of the types provides the framework for a rich sequence of different open spaces. The open space itself becomes a “picture-filling” facet of the project: in lieu of urban planning based on building mass, an emancipatory dialogue between housing and open space evolves.

Topographical Settling

The dialogue between housing and open space is continued through topographical settling: prompted by the pragmatic variations in level of the abandoned loading ramps, a topography of small leaps characterizes the open space and organizes the boundaries or gradations of private life and public life within a settlement. Accessibility becomes a spatial asset: between the gentle variations in level, the ramps enrich the topography of open space. The competition area is a prime example of other expected conversions along Waagner-Biro-Straße. Essential for future appearance, address generation, and reachability is a treatment of Waagner-Biro-Straße that goes beyond the parceling of land and also beyond the final completion of the existing avenue fragments. Transverse development of the land is achieved via two east-west routes at the northern and southern edges, with the landscape-focused southern strip (passageway for bicycles and pedestrians) contrasting against the shared space in the north. The accentuation of landscape not only accelerates gentle mobility but also takes up the theme of multiple use of trafficked areas. The collection of six different building types, otherwise scattered around the periphery, gives rise to a diverse mosaic of open space that is framed by the landscaped routes to the north and south. Within this open inner space, the different heights, organizational forms, structure, and porosity of the individual types ensure structural diversity in order to facilitate the imperative social blending here. The height differentiation of the buildings, together with the scale-giving, space-accentuating patterns of wood, fosters spaces of varying dimension and atmosphere: below the grove, in the yard, amid the sea of treetops, along the cityscape visible above the trees.

Year 2010
Address Waagner-Biro-Straße, 8020 Graz
Expert procedure
In cooperation withBernd Vlay, STUDIOVLAY
Type Architecture, Urbanism
MVD Christine Schmauszer, Irina Koerdt, Michael Rieper