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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Hartenaugasse Office Building in Styria, Austria by Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

 
February 22nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

For an architect, the task of giving a manor house a new purpose and function is of course a fascinating, yet also complex, challenge. Villas such as Hartenaugasse 6 rank at the very top of the range of desirable residences. Yet the shape of living space today has changed altogether fundamentally in comparison with the ideas prevailing at the time the villas were designed. This accounts for the fact that many of these buildings are put to other uses today.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH 

  • Architects: Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH
  • Project: Hartenaugasse Office Building
  • Location: Hartenaugasse, 8010 Graz, Styria, Austria
  • Client: Wegraz GmbH
  • Project team:
    Project manager: DI Martin Mittermayr
    Collaborators: DI Robert Strempfl, Ing. Johannes Eisenberger
  • Technical consultants:
    Structural: Vatter&Partner ZT GmbH, 8200 Gleisdorf
    Mechanical services: TB Hammer GmbH, 8054Graz
    Electrical: TB Klauss GmbH, 8054 Graz
    Construction physics: Dr. Pfeiler ZT GmbH, 8010 Graz
  • Contractors:
    Main contractor: Lederer-Grabner BauGmbH, 8055 Graz
    Facade / Metalwork: Ferroglas GmbH, 4063 Hörsching
    Facade: SFL GmbH, 8152 Stallhofen
    Metalwork: Metallbau Hirt, 8230 Grafendorf
  • Competition:
    Design & documentation: Spring 2003 – Spring 2010
    Start of construction: May 2010
    Completion: April 2011
  • Technical data:
    Net area: ~ 1.275 m² (NF 1.010 m², FF 50 m², VF 215 m²)
    Total floor area: ca. 1.800 m²
    Cubage: ca. 6.100 m³

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

They are often subdivided into apartments or turned into hotels – or they serve as prestigious headquarters for companies. But often they suffer the same fate as the Sleeping Beauty, albeit never to be awoken with a kiss; they become derelict and are then demolished.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

The villa at Hartenaugasse 6 developed in a different direction – the roof was converted to a studio for free-thinkers – according to the wording of the contract for the roof extension that was carried out many years ago. Subsequently the ground floor and first floor were restored and transformed for use as a lawyer’s office.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Thanks to the broad-mindedness of the development and restoration it is still possible today to recognise the original form of the villa. Modern elements were introduced and, in combination with the historical context, the result is an exciting architectural entity.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

What we find today is not an extension but rather a second villa, demonstrating a new interpretation in contemporary architectural style. Approximately equivalent in size and floor space, it highlights how the times and architecture have changed – but also how the respective qualities get along.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

The finely chased façade of the historic villa shows how architecture can offer a counterpoint to the natural landscape, thereby contributing to the development of this park-like area.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

In contrast, the new villa demonstrates the landscape being reflected in the forward-mounted facade, indeed how the landscape reflected in the forward-mounted facade becomes a design feature, ever changing due to the openable panels and creating new images of nature. This also serves to demonstrate the new significance of nature in urban space.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

One distinctive feature is the slightly curved form of the new façade set before the rational and economically optimised form of the office building. This is today’s architecture’s counterpart to the artisan skill of history. Connecting the two villas is a transparent staircase, which serves today’s requirements for emergency means of escape etc.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

whilst also incorporating a convenient lift. Given that today we find modern, multi-functional offices, which arose with the theme “working in the park”, it is clearly necessary to keep a city and urbanity lively and not to preserve them in their historic form. Not merely should the park landscape be reflected in the façade, but the building should also be a visible emblem of company culture and serve to reinforce staff commitment.

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Ground Floor : Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Elevation : Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Second Upper Floor : Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Elevation : Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

Site Plan : Image Courtesy Ernst Giselbrecht + Partner ZT GmbH

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Categories: Building, Offices

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