Status: Competition (2015)
Location: Graz, Austria
Coordinates: 47.084742, 15.407566
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Environments: Railway, Urban
Types: Housing, Residential
In response to a non-fix urban situation, the project proposes an adaptable base structure that adapts to pre-existent buildings, defines a enfilade of public spaces and activates urban life, while a series buildings can be accommodated on top in the future. This 8x8m grid allows different building typologies and efficient parking design underneath. Situated along the main train track, and willing to define kind public spaces, arcades become a suitable structure that reminds us of train stations and historical plazas. At the same time, urban situation demands a forceful architectural response: a high density settlement that draws a recognizable silhouette from the east side of train tracks.
A pedestrian itinerary of plazas gives continuity to vertical and horizontal public axis circulations. The plot becomes both a shortcut and a place where rapidly crossing and calmly resting coexist. Arcade porches, articulate a sequence of different ambience public spaces that range from high activity plaza to quiet green . Strategic bike parking racks are situated along the complex entrances and the train station underpasses. Two underground parking floors, keep the site free of car circulation and are directly connected to north and south train underpasses. This underground connection is connected with the interior plaza and finds a public exit at the south east side of the site as well.
1st Phase : Arcade Base
Adaptable base structure that defines a enfilade of public spaces and activates urban life: kulturhaus, kindergarten, social programs, shops, restaurants and central market. This structure adapts its limits to the existing neighbours and integrates them in the proposal.
2nd Phase : Buildings
Four main buildings, with working spaces and housing, will settle around the perimeter, venerating the interior public space. The fifth building, on top of the central market and in contact with the existing neighbours will not be raised, but a light greenhouse structure.
3rd Phase : Future Buildings
If existing neighbours collaborate, an integral transformation would allow the fifth building to grow and a sixth piece of housing to appear. Other programs could as well be settled on top of the base structure if suitable.
The house is conceived as sequence of rooms and so the floor plan becomes a board of connected rooms that allow several housing configurations.
Exterior perimeter : Service Strip + Sound Buffer
Intimate house spaces are protected from sound emissions by a perimeter strip where service spaces such as WC, kitchens or wardrobes are located. This strip is cut off so as to allow the entrance of light through double glass-closure galleries.
Interior perimeter : Loggias
When facing the interior, the perimeter service strip is not needed anymore and is moved to the interior, liberating the façade and opening loggia spaces to the exterior, that will guide the light into the deeper rooms.