As part of an initiative undertaken by the City of Vienna to revitalize the Wiener Guertel, a neglected urban hinterland which traditionally marked the ‘dividing line’ between indigenous Viennese and immigrant communities, we designed and constructed the Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project.
The development stands at a point where several significant infrastructural elements overlap: The ‘Spittelauer Laende’, one of Vienna’s most important roadways; the Danube Canal, connecting Germany to Hungary, a busy bike path and an unused railway viaduct constructed by Otto Wagner in the 19th century.
We created a three-part structure, containing apartments, offices and artists’ studios, which effectively weaves like a ribbon through, around and over the arched bays of the disused railway viaduct, which is a protected structure. The new buildings interact with the viaduct in a deliberately playful manner, generating many different exterior and interior spaces and vistas – their impact heightened by the surrounding infrastructure.
A number of viaduct arches were converted into bars and restaurants, others transformed to carry a service zone which ultimately melts into the banks of the canal, forming a lively public space.
Spittelau Viaducts was conceived to extend Vienna’s social housing provision and as a ‘beacon’ project to attract and inspire further developments in this area. Future plans included the creation of pedestrian and bike connections to the University of Business and Northern Train Station.