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.
ORBI-Tower in Vienna, Austria by Zechner & Zechner ZTGmbH
July 5th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Zechner & Zechner ZTGmbH
After emerging as competition winners in 2013, Vienna based architects Zechner & Zechner were commissioned with the design of the 115m-tall ORBI Tower high-rise project. Now construction has started for the new tower. On the journey from Vienna’s airport to the city centre there is no avoiding the urban-development project TownTown, where the new tower is located. Due to its prime position, the new high rise will be a welcoming sight to a large proportion of people arriving in Vienna by plane.
The project is planned to be a tower based on a curve of constant width. It and the neighbouring building will form a gate-like boundary to the square and an impressive end structure towards the south east. One point of the curve of constant width points toward the square, in the direction of the subway station entrance, marking the main entrance to the building, and defining an attractive plaza. Another narrow aspect points, like a prow, to the south east and the motorway junction.
The tower appears simple, but has a large-scale, dynamically shaped horizontal cross section with smooth, rounded surfaces. The streamlined form of the building, and the way it curves through space due to its horizontal structure, was a design choice made in response to the curves of the adjacent motorway junction. In contrast to the crystalline structure of the surrounding buildings, the project functions as an expressive design element in relation to this transport infrastructure. The interior configuration of the building is, in essence, determined by the need for compact thoroughfares and the highest flexibility in organisation of office space. This requires a compact internal core for access and building services, with surrounding open spaces.
The most important design criteria stem from the requirement for a sustainable building that takes green factors into account. It is intended that the building will be ÖGNI/DGNB certified. The foremost factors are the efficient use of energy, water and other resources, safeguarding the health of the building users, as well as reducing waste and unwanted emissions. High energy efficiency is provided primarily by using passive systems to reduce the reliance on technological systems to a minimum and keep life-cycle costs down.
The three below-ground floors contain storage, building services and parking areas. On the ground floor, a foyer, public spaces and eating and drinking are planned. The upper floors, 1 to 25, are designed to be office space that can be divided up individually. The chosen depth of the building and configuration of the interior core allow maximum flexibility and many different office layouts. The strategy of reversible offices emerged as the solution that best optimised investment, due to their high flexibility, and ease of customisation to fit the requirements of individual users, thus providing high sustainability.
The facade is designed as a modular double-skin facade. The outer glazing has a fine pattern of dots, which creates a soft transition from opaque areas to transparency across the height of the building. This optical effect ‘dematerialises’ the building as it gains in height.
Zechner & Zechner ZTGmbH
Martin Zechner (*1962) and Christoph Zechner (*1961) were born in Graz / Austria and studied Architecture at the Technical University of Graz. After working with several architects in Austria (Arch. Plottegg, Arch. Kada, Arch. Domenig), Germany and Switzerland, they set up their own office “Zechner & Zechner” in Vienna in 1988. Right now 30 architects and technicians are engaged in the Z&Z main office in Vienna.
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