This design program focuses on the upgrading and retrofitting of the central entrance area in the main TU building at Karlsplatz. On a first visit to the technical university, the visitor is first confronted with the auditorium, a 19th-century portico turned away from the daylight. It functions partly as a barrier, but also as a transition to adjoining rooms. The use of the Prechtlsaal for internal and external events requires that this zone has additional functional aspects. It is therefore necessary to find an answer to the question of how such a spatial link should present itself to the visitor. There is no doubt that the historical environment of the main building plays an essential role in the representation of the TU Vienna. However, the current state of the auditorium no longer meets the requirements of a contemporary reception environment. Therefore, within the scope of this design program, current and future requirements are to be inventoried. In the context of a future “Visitors Center”, a sufficient amount of information about the university complex should be available as a minimum requirement. The image that is to be conveyed to the public of the university landscape undoubtedly calls for a strengthening of the “corporate identity”. The creative confrontation with this key zone should make an essential contribution to this. From this point of view, the scope of action ranges from the insertion of parasitic sub-architectures to a complete reoccupation. In any case, visions are called for.
SCOPE OF WORK
The design proposals are to be in the scale range 1:100 to 1:20. Interior design details and samples are to be shown on a scale of 1:20. If required, 1:1 simulations can be made.
The design program demanded design solutions from the students, which undoubtedly called for answers to questions that had probably not been asked to a sufficient degree before. Finally, the foyer of the TU Vienna had to be equipped with a spatial statement. This newly created reception area should be able to “tune in” the regular student as well as the first-time visitor accordingly and, if necessary, direct them to the desired location. In this respect, the auditorium has the function of a hub, which on the one hand has to be used for information and communication, and on the other hand has to be disentangled from an organizational point of view. The four projects presented here each open up four individual paths towards this goal. Daniel and Edith Ebenkofler’s design concept relies heavily on a dialogue-like interplay between the old and the new. Where spatial expansions appear to make sense, they are applied in an independent manner; where additional connections would be advantageous, they are created accordingly. Respectfully, but with their own language, today’s requirements confront the historic building stock. Regina Lahofer’s design, on the other hand, literally undermines the existing substance. In this way, the historic building itself becomes an object on display. The stone cubature is contrasted with a glassy lightness that has become a strategy. The idea of opening up the university is thus directly transferred to the specific location. Christian Mandler’s design leaves the underground in its existing form, but proposes in the area of the second floor a clearly visible sign in the direction of the inner courtyard of the TU Vienna. In the end, Roland Radda’s design consists of three blue glass cubes, which primarily focus on a creative and functional adjustment in the area of the existing assembly hall. For him, these glass structures become the spatial signature for the centrally located contact point in the university complex.