VISIONS FOR LECTURE HALL 7
The design program focuses on the upgrading and retrofitting of existing building fabric to convey teaching content in the university setting, whereby reformulations and reinterpretations of the theme of the “lecture” or even the discussion forum are conceivable. Seen in this light, the scope of action ranges from the insertion of parasitic sub-architectures to their complete erosion and reassignment. In any case, visions are called for.
The task refers primarily to Lecture Hall 7, which was rededicated as the Schütte-Lihotzky Hall by resolution of the Academic Senate on April 21, 1997. Incidentally, the application for this was made by the Faculty of Spatial Planning and Architecture; for this reason, corresponding design proposals were to be developed from this sphere of activity. This means that students – the actual main users – are actively involved in the planning of the lecture hall. In addition, there is the fact that Courtyard 2 is expected to undergo general renovation in the course of the years 1998-1999. Accompanying the design process, various disciplines, such as historic preservation, building police – building administration – construction management – media specialists – etc., will be asked for their opinions.
In the block course Environmental Psychology by Dr. Alexander Keul, a practical evaluation of successful and less successful auditoriums at the TU Vienna is carried out by means of (self-) observation, which provides empirical input for the planning process for this design program. The aim of this procedure is the maximum user-friendliness of the built environment “lecture hall”, which needs new forms and contents due to the social change of the life phase “study”.
Lecture hall 7 is a “historical hole with reminiscence of past times”. The university institution is constantly changing, but this rather does not take place in step with the building structure? How can and should we bring about a forum for the implementation of courses? In what way should the exchange of subject-related information take place and to what extent is direct interaction required.
There is no doubt that the historical environment of the old main building plays a characterizing role in the representation of the TU Vienna. However, the current condition of Lecture Hall 7 is no longer generally understood to meet the requirements of a contemporary teaching environment. The building department has also identified serious safety problems. Furthermore, the existing lecture halls are scattered over the entire Karlsplatz 13 site, which largely hinders comprehensive support. From this point of view, priorities have to be set for structural measures up to and including abandonment and conversion. The fact that the acting persons remain the same over longer periods of time often results in some lectures being given almost unchanged. A video recording, for example, could free up unimagined resources for other activities (video on demand via a video server). The TU Media Office has already had successful experiences with recordings in the context of a university course. Guest lectures could also be viewed at a later date.
Therefore, current and future demands are to be inventoried within the framework of this design program. What should a lecture hall be able to do in the future? This also includes considerations of the infrastructure and refers in particular to multimedia equipment.
SCOPE OF WORK
The basis for the design work is to be provided in the form of analyses (lecture hall 7 and two other lecture halls). Apart from the existing situation at the Vienna University of Technology, examples – not only of a structural nature – at other universities are to be studied. Subsequently, relevant (safety) regulations are to be taken into account (in particular with regard to escape routes, lighting, infrastructure and technical building equipment, etc.). The redesign of courtyard 2 is not in itself part of the design project, but its connection to lecture hall 7 can nevertheless be the subject of the design work.
The design proposals are to be in the scale range 1:100 to 1:1. In particular, interior design details and samples are to be presented on a scale of 1:20. If required, 1:1 simulations can be carried out on site or in the space laboratory.