Design Studio SS 18

„Abseits“ – Bauen im Grünland


In the context of the ggst. Design program, an unused property in Ternitz (Lower Austria), which has been owned by the municipality for some time, is the focus of attention. The existing building from the 1960s functioned as a home for the Kinderfreunde and has been suffering from vacancy for some time. Preservation of the structure is questionable; it is not a listed building. The somewhat higher-lying property is located in grassland. Nevertheless, due to the already existing building, corresponding possibilities also open up in the sense of a new conception. The existing contour lines are not sacrosanct. As far as the future cubature is concerned, a certain amount of open space can be expected in this respect. Therefore, the first question to be addressed is what type of use would be considered in the context of the former industrial community, which is now profiling itself as a residential and school center. Within the framework of this design exercise, the aim is to develop architectural measures that contribute to a meaningful development. However, the main objective is not to implement detached sculptures and the like, but rather to develop a realizable overall concept as well as a concrete usable design solution. The discussion therefore focuses on the concrete questions surrounding the use and the associated design solutions in the respective context.


If one looks at the available designs around the existing Kinderfreundeheim near the local cemetery, the diversity of the design approaches is initially striking. Although the existing building is still present and at first glance one would not necessarily envisage a total demolition, there is hardly a theme of use that is not considered and presented. The location therefore seems to trigger many lines of thought. Especially the position at the edge of the city in connection with the found closeness to nature inspires the drafts to new possible play and use possibilities of the area. The area obviously has the potential to be used for recreational purposes, art presentations, but also for restoration and overnight stays. Almost across the board, the found place is transformed into a place for all, or at least into a place that should be accessible to all from time to time. We are therefore dealing with a refuge that needs to be opened up or kept open. A variety of uses certainly favors this openness. A mix of uses would certainly be advantageous. Whether it is an art presentation room, a craft center, a club house, a youth center or a youth hostel, the location in the moving terrain makes it possible to make nature tangible and to gain special advantages from the location. The surrounding forests provide a context that can only be found in the rarest of cases. It is therefore not surprising that numerous designs seem to communicate with the terrain and focus on the theme of retreat and contemplation in nature. This is undoubtedly the special attraction of the area close to the city. That there is such a need to be able to use nature more actively in the urban area becomes more than clear in view of the present results. However, it remains to be explored under which conditions this could best be achieved.