The SELMA AM PARK project sets its origins in the URBAN SOFTWARE proposal, awarded in the EUROPAN 12 competition in Vienna. This project put faith on an urban strategy where the process prevailed over the final result, by creating a flexible support capable of reacting to the very diverse scales and conditions of its context.
The award allowed us to participate in the SIEMENSÄCKER planning design for a new 8-hectare residential neighbourhood in the north of Vienna. The urban project was defined through a COLLABORATIVE PROCESS with a dozen expert offices in urban planning, architecture, landscape, mobility, energy, etc.
Once the Masterplan was approved in December 2016, the land owner (Austrian Real Estate) entrusted us with the design of 65 homes arranged in 3 blocks of different sizes (sizes S, M, L). The project uses the different building and free space scales to connect to the different surrounding urban fabrics and to adapt to the topography and landscape. The scale of the buildings is nuanced through protrusions on the façade, which establish specific relationships with elements, spaces and axes of the environment.
Concurrently to the development of the architectural project, we continue to be involved in the QUALITÄTENKATALOG, a group of experts who jointly define the qualities of free space, landscaping, collective parking and the management of non-residential uses in the neighbourhood. In this way, individual decisions are made from collective work, and vice versa: it is a design process that unifies the disciplines of architecture and urbanism, defining guidelines at the building and neighbourhood scale simultaneously.
In the same way as collaborative planning, the architectural project is defined through 5 qualities:
1. Bike-in city: The urban project is articulated through large collective garages, which remove the presence of cars on the surface. In this way, great prominence can be given to the bicycle, whose collective parking takes advantage of the marked topography of the land and organises the relationship between the three residential blocks while opening up to the green space.
2. Commons: the collective nature of collaborative planning design is also reflected in architectural design. Community spaces such as the large bicycle parking lot, a large collective kitchen open to the entire neighbourhood or a solarium terrace and associated play area, are arranged in the 3 blocks as spaces for community relations.
3. In the park: a characteristic of contemporary Viennese housing is incorporated: each of the 65 homes will have an exterior room associated with it, in the form of a 10 m2 balcony, terrace or garden, improving the quality of the home by opening it onto a green, natural and pedestrian-friendly environment. The houses are intensely interrelated with the tree-lined promenade, which vegetation leaks in the spaces between the blocks. Private and public garden areas are intermingled, generating spaces and situations of variable scales and qualities.
4. Servant cabinet: The house is organised around a servant cabinet that houses all the services, storage spaces and facilities inside. Thus, the living rooms are arranged towards the outside, reserving for the day area (living room-kitchen) the space that will enjoy, with its two orientations, the greatest number of natural light hours per day.
5. Local materiality: The materiality of the buildings is characterised by their larch wood shutters on the outside and their panelling on the inside. As a consequence, it reflects the use of local construction systems and materials (construction using load-bearing concrete walls, external thermal insulation, selection of local wood, etc.), as well as the choice of native plants and trees, a necessary condition to preserve the ecological and sustainable quality in the construction process of the new SIEMENSÄCKER neighbourhood.
The 'SELMA AM PARK' project has already obtained recognition, such as its selection at the FAD International and GEBAUT 2021 awards.