Falkestrasse Rooftop

If there was ever really a task in architecture, then this was it: The law firm Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer wished to extend their office upwards. The office is situated on the first and second floor of the building on the corner of Falkestrasse and Biberstrasse in the inner City of Vienna. The attention was to be focussed on a large meeting room. Adjacent to it several smaller office units were to be designed.
Although the construction site was 21 meters above the ground and one of the streets just happened to be Falkestrasse (Falcon Street), we did not in this case think of a bird or wings, although it was hard not to.
The preliminary design of 1983 depicts the corner solution. (If there really is such a thing as a solution in architecture.) There are no alcoves or turrets on the roof, no context of proportions, materials or colors but, instead, a visualized line of energy which, coming from the street spans the project, thus breaking the existing roof and thereby opening it.
While designing, we envisioned a lightning bolt reversed and a taut arc. This space-creating taut arc - an element of our architecture that since 1 980 has progressively become more important - is both the steel backbone of the project and its posture. The open, glazed surfaces and the closed, folded or linear surfaces of the outer shell control the light and allow or restrict the view.
Both directions of view, that from outside and that from within, which are captured in one of the early drawings, define the complexity of the construction's spacial relations. The differentiated and differentiating constructional system, which is a cross between a bridge and an airplane, translates the spacial energy into constructional reality. The project constitutes two storeys with a height of 7.80 m, with a flat area of 400 m2. The spacial layout consists of a90 m2 meeting room, three office units include an office space, a reception area and adjacent rooms. It would also be possible to use the office as an apartment.
The construction took one year and was completed on December 23rd, 1988.
Awards: Preis der Stadt Wien fur Architektur (Award of the City of Vienna for Architecture) Vienna, Austria 1988, May

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  • Kiril Pavlov
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