Architecture as the City?

 

MArch Studio: Geography Cities Landscapes


Stefan Gruber

Beyond their sheer size, Vienna’s WU, AKH, ORF-headquarters and Alterlaa all share an ambition to absorb the city scale within a singular building. Yet to which extent do these singular buildings also perform as a city in themselves? And what exactly is the difference between the city and its architecture? This seemingly simple question was at the centre of this term’s Master studio in Geography, Landscapes and Cities.

We investigated the differences between planning and design, notions of transformation over time and what is robust versus ephemeral. We searched for the rules or structure behind the projects’ generative processes. We further examined the relation of the four modernist case studies to their urban context, challenging their seemingly autistic behavior.

 

Architecture as the City?

 

MArch Studio: Geography Cities Landscapes


Stefan Gruber

To begin with, we applied existing methods of city-mapping to the close reading of the four Viennese projects. Including Colin Rowe, Venturi, Scott-Brown and the Situationist International amongst others, these techniques were drawn from a period in which an increasing criticism towards modern architecture led to the rediscovery of the historic city. Significantly, this is also the precise period in which our four late-modern case-studies were built. Thus, the suggested method promised to trigger a short-circuit - one that would change the reading and understanding of, and speculations over Vienna’s modern post-war projects.

Students: Boustead Kathleen, Dorsch Clarissa, Drogan Diana, Netocny Samuel, Papakuriakopoulou Nefeli, Reese Achim, Sipulova Jana, Smilga Dagnija, Toth Katalin