2018 Austrian Builder-Owner Award – Excellent Environments

2018 Austrian Builder-Owner Award – Excellent Environments

11 December 2018 to 1 March 2019

The Austrian Builder-Owner Award – a cross-section of outstanding Austrian architecture

For the eighth year in succession, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein’s popular Architektur im Ringturm series will turn the spotlight on the Austrian Builder-Owner Award, arguably the most prestigious accolade on the country’s architecture scene. From December 2018 to March 2019, all 22 shortlisted projects will be on display at the Ringturm Exhibition Centre, with a focus on the six winners.

The 2018 award puts education centre stage. Two out of the six award winners are schools: Bundesschule Aspern secondary school in Vienna and Volksschule Dorf Lauterach primary school in Vorarlberg.

Of the 106 projects submitted from across Austria, 22 were shortlisted, from which the jury – architects Andreas Bründler (Basel) and Stefan Marte (Feldkirch), as well as architecture journalist and curator Gabriele Kaiser (Vienna) – then selected the six award winners.

The Central Association of Austrian Architects’ 2018 Builder-Owner Award pays tribute to outstanding projects completed within the past three years that demonstrate exceptional collaboration between builder-owners and architects. This includes remarkable buildings, landscape architecture and – for the first time in 2018 – urban developments.

The Austrian Builder-Owner Award winners 2018
(Projects presented in alphabetical order by federal province and project; jury statements summarised by Gabriele Kaiser)

prizewinner: Houses in the Forest
builder-owner: Robert Hollmann, Klagenfurt
architecture: Winkler+Ruck, Klagenfurt

Photo: Winkler+Ruck

Three wooden blocks named after the builder-owner’s three children – Luki, Toni and Franzi – and a barn with communal space built next to the road, including a garage, are the components of a hotel-like retreat in an untouched natural setting 1,700 metres above sea level. Solidity and grace seem to dovetail effortlessly in the design of the accommodation buildings. The bases and connecting spaces of the vertically arranged units are made from dark-coloured exposed concrete, encased in a shell of wooden boards. Reminiscent of minimalist sculptures, each of the internal stairways follows a different formal interpretation. A single floor, a room, a bathroom, here and there a view of the forest floor, nearby trees and roots – comfort that is unimposing, and memories of how things used to be.

prizewinner: Princess Veranda, Residential and Commercial Building
builder-owner: Prolend Projektentwicklung/Klaus Jeschek, Graz
architecture: Pentaplan, Graz

Photo: Adolph Stiller

A six-storey apartment and office building with the catchy name Princess Veranda has been built on the site of a former carpentry workshop. Two existing heritage-protected structures at the north and south of the site were also acquired, delimiting the development, which straddles the border between commercial and residential. The new building stands out for a poised balance between openness and self-effacement. A free-standing sculptural outer facade in exposed concrete made using white cement, giving it a refined impression, encloses the building on all sides. Within the block, an elliptical atrium and surrounding arcades flood access areas with light – an exceptionally elegant solution to development of a constricted plot.

Upper Austria
prizewinner: Paneum – Wunderkammer of bread
builder-owner: backaldrin International TheKornspitz Company GmbH/Peter Augendopler
architecture: Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wien
exhibition design: Gruppe Gut, Bozen

Photo: Markus Pillhofer

After two years of construction, the official opening of the “Paneum – Wunderkammer des Brotes” – or “chamber of the wonders of bread” – took place in October 2017. Behind its shimmering facade, the Paneum contains unexpectedly tranquil spaces. It soars above a simple exposed concrete box, which houses the foyer, the customer information centre and an event centre for over 120 people. The Wunderkammer itself is a bulging shape made out of 3D CNC-milled cross laminated timber elements, its 88 layers interlocking with the aid of steel screws. Externally, the wooden construction is clad with over 3,000 lozenge-shaped, stainless steel shingles. The two-storey exhibition space is reached via a self-supporting steel staircase.

prizewinner: “Georunde Rindberg”
builder-owner: Gemeinde Sibratsgfäll/ Konrad Stadelmann
architecture: Innauer Matt Architekten, Bezau Super-Büro für Gestaltung, Egg

Photo: Adolph Stiller

Heavy rains in May 1999 caused a landslide in the municipality of Sibratsgfäll, and a mountainside crumbled away. Over an area of 1.8 square kilometres, 18 residential and commercial buildings slid up to 240 metres towards the valley floor – a dramatic event in which, fortunately, no lives were lost. Nevertheless, it left deep scars in the landscape and the consciousness of the village’s 400 inhabitants. Today, an unusual remembrance path bears witness to the event. Starting at “Felber’s Wonky House”, which confuses visitors’ normal sense of space once they step inside, objects have been placed at eight selected locations that recreate the experience of life on a slope, and the acceptance of constant change. All of the objects are sharp-edged installations in special steel. Their physical presence speaks for itself, without any need for academic explanations. With titles like “Sloping Pine” and “On an even keel?”, their physical directness results in a focus on the essential.

prizewinner: Primary School Village Lauterach
builder-owner: Marktgemeinde
Lauterach/Vizebürgermeisterin Doris Rohner
architecture: Feyferlik / Fritzer, Graz

Photo: Adolph Stiller

An unusual architectural design for Vorarlberg, the construction of which was preceded by discussions on how to treat the existing 80-year-old building. A ground-level pavilion structure runs around the old schoolhouse, standing out for its open spatial concept and interlocking open-air spaces. Every classroom in each cluster of four opens inwards onto a central “marketplace” for joint activities, and outwards into the winter garden with direct access to the outdoors. The green roof, under the shade of mature trees, is the school’s playground. The children’s need for movement is counterbalanced by integrated quiet zones, and a covered walkway links the new structure to the refurbished older building, which houses workshops and offices.

prizewinner: Federal School Aspern
builder-owner: BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft/Gottfried Flicker, Wien
architecture: fasch & fuchs.architekten, Wien
exterior space: Pflanz! Garten & Freiraum OG, Obersdorf

Photo: Haller & Haller

The new school complex by the Hannah-Arendt-Park in the south-west of Vienna’s Seestadt area was completed in July 2017. The goal was to create a progressive functional layout in which, for the primary school pupils, groups of four classes share an open learning space. Secondary school classrooms are organised according to subject area – students are not based in their own classrooms, but move from room to room for the different subjects. They also have an individual work space in one of four “homebases”, which have a living-room atmosphere and direct terrace access. The multi-level assembly hall, with open staircases and study islands, is covered by a high shed roof, with a supporting structure made from wood. From this expansive hall, a large number of avenues cut through the building, bringing to life the abstract idea of borderless spaces. Numerous line of sight connections, for example between the cafeteria and the recessed gyms, form links between openness and focus, and seated and mobile scenarios, in a common experiential space.

Architektur im Ringturm LIII: Bauherrenpreis ’18. Edited by the Central Association of Austrian Architects. Jury statements, illustration of all nominated projects; detailed look at winning entries with text and pictures. 84 pages.
Price: EUR 18 (German only)

Adolph Stiller

Ringturm Exhibition Centre
Schottenring 30, 1010 Vienna

Opening hours:   
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, free admission
(closed on public holidays)

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Romy Schrammel
T: +43 (0)50 350 21224
F: +43 (0)50 350 99 21224
E-mail: presse(at)wst-versicherungsverein.at