Living by the harbour Linz, Residential Building, Housing Project Design, Property Photos
Living by the harbour Linz
22 Sep 2020
Living by the harbour Linz, Austria
Location: Sintstrasse, Linz, Upper Austria
Design: X ARCHITEKTEN
Photos by Lisi Grebe
The property is located at the transition between the urban parts and the industrial areas at the port of the city of Linz and is to be newly built and redensified with rental apartments of the social housing and a kindergarten. The main square two kilometres away and the local recreation areas along the Danube are within walking distance.
Here, on the former edge of the Wilhelminian block-edge developments, the dockworkers’ housing estate in the form of a garden city model was built in 1927 on the site of a farm. The open point development – until then only found on land – was implemented under the leadership of the City of Linz as a new and innovative urban structure for the workers’ families. The connected green spaces between the houses have been able to develop to this day with an impressive stock of trees.
The design connects to the point development and open space structure of the neighbouring and historically important workers’ housing estate and extends this quality over the entire project area. The positive spatial characteristics will be continued, they are already “Already there”.
The scale of the new buildings takes up further references, in that the dimensions correspond to those formed by the grouping of two workers’ houses each on the adjacent property. The newly designed buildings have the same floor space as two workers’ houses with a gap between them. The height of the buildings is staggered, with five floors in the south-east towards the industrial line, over four floors and up to three floors at the border to the existing settlement.
The arrangement of the buildings creates a generous continuous green area, which is now more effective in terms of urban development. The open space concept zonates the development into private and public areas such as playgrounds, meeting and quiet zones. Starting from the Sintstraße, a central, meander-shaped path opens up the complex. The path connects fields with different uses in the open space and creates a connection to the network of paths of the workers’ housing estate. The areas in front of the entrances to the houses are designed as meeting zones for the residents.
The task of housing construction
The framework conditions of the housing estate are very closely defined by the Upper Austrian housing subsidy guidelines. This applies to the size of the apartments, the size of the rooms, the materials and the construction costs. Such tasks pose the challenge of developing a spacial organisation and architectural design that overcomes these deficiencies in possibilities, but does not openly display them. It was necessary to find sustainable relational approaches in the concept and in the implementation in order to prepare the place for the development of the social structure of the future inhabitants in the best possible way.
The differentiated plaster structures of the dockworkers’ residential buildings and the illuminated staircase on the facade were adopted as features and reinterpreted. While the formerly identical dockworkers’ houses show traces of deviation and variance due to the interventions and ageing, this liveliness of deviation in the design results from the use of different but self-similar forms for the facade design. In this way, familiarity could be created and the damaging interaction of new buildings in old stock could be avoided.
Building structure and functionality of residential buildings
On the ground floor of the houses there is access and foyer with mailboxes and baby stroller parking spaces. The compact staircase with lift faces northeast and is naturally lit. The apartments on the upper floors are arranged as four carriage houses. All 50 apartments with sizes from 55m² to 90m² are equipped with private gardens or balconies.
In the basement there is a laundry and drying room as well as the cellar compartments and a bicycle storage room. Additional bicycle parking spaces are located directly in front of the house entrances. All buildings have an entrance and shares of the underground car park, which connects the buildings with each other.
Building structure and functionality Kindergarten
One of the houses is a kindergarten house and creates social infrastructure for the young families and for the district within the framework of the subsidised housing construction. The kindergarten has five groups and is housed on several levels.
All buildings are designed as brick masonry constructions with reinforced concrete ceilings. The positioning of the load-bearing room partition walls results in economical spans of the ceilings. Balconies are placed as prefabricated elements in front of the buildings using the Isokorb system. The outer walls are designed as load-bearing and perforated facades.
In terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and suitability for summer use are of great importance. With the best possible compactness, the cube-shaped structures have a favourable ratio of volume to external surface area and achieve the required low-energy house standard with an insulation thickness of 20cm, controlled ventilation of living space with heat recovery and photovoltaic systems on the roofs.
The photovoltaic system tests the current technical innovation for the use of clean photovoltaic electricity for decentralized hot water preparation in the individual apartments. As a result, the central building services for the fallow water on cold water pipes could be reduced and pipe energy losses minimized. The system is not grid-connected, so there are no requirements from the energy grid, such as inverters and connection permits.
The number and size of the window areas have been chosen economically and are suitable for summer use (prevention of overheating).
Text from X ARCHITEKTEN, Vienna
Living by the harbour Linz – Building Information
Title: Living by the harbour
Location: Linz, Sintstrasse
Client: GWG – Wohnungsgenossenschaft der Stadt Linz GmbH
Planning: X ARCHITEKTEN
55 apartments with 55 – 90m² effective area
a kindergarten with 5 groups
total usable area: 5500m²
Completion autumn: 2019
Photographs: Lisi Grebe
David Birgmann (* 1973)
Study of architecture at the TU in Innsbruck
2001 Diploma with Stefano de Martino
Bettina Brunner (* 1972)
Studied architecture at the TU in Graz, graduated in 1998
1999 – 2004 Assistant at the Institute for Structural Engineering and Experimental Architecture, University of Innsbruck – Volker Giencke
Lorenz Prommegger (* 1969)
Study of architecture at the TU in Graz, diploma 1997
Study of real estate economics at the FHW Vienna, diploma 2006
1998 – 2002 Lectureships at the TU Vienna and TU Graz
2001 Visiting professor at the Academy of Art, Rotterdam
2004 Consulting activity project development
Max Nirnberger (* 1962)
Studied architecture at the TU in Graz, graduated in 1998
1998 – 2000 Assistant lecturer at the Institute for Structural Engineering, TU Vienna – Will Alsop
2000 – 2005 Assistant at the Art University Linz – Roland Gnaiger
Living by the harbour Linz, Sintstrasse Housing images / information from xarchitekten
Location: Linz, Upper Austria, central Europe
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