Borejszo . Cho . Hilgefort . Karavanas

Europan 11 . Dreiecksplatz

design team: Artur Borejszo . Leena Cho . Jason Hilgefort . Andreas Karavanas

Located between the Vienna Ring and Vienna Woods, the site embraces the marks of both environment -urban and nature - as a basis for future development.

Currently surrounded by houses with a large amount of private green space, what is needed in the site is a generous, quality public space that will invite and sustain diverse groups of community to gather, live and work by. Major forms of transit - bus, tram and bicycle - anchor three corners of the triangle-shaped plaza with an integrated train platform in the middle. Various residential, commercial and social programs both frame and spill out toward the public triangle and support its liveliness. Green space is maximized at all different scales, fostering health, education and social interactions, while each kind of nature - from 'wild woods' to herb garden - defines the atmosphere of individual housing zone.
New, Shared Ecologies
The open space typology in the surrounding neighborhood is currently dominated by private green yards. To complement this rich array of personal, recreational and small-scale social interaction, we propose a series of additional scales of nature that will induce new medium for experience and exchange. The 'wild wood' zone to the west of the site is an ecological mini park that encourages and celebrates full growth cycle of local tree species. The community garden adjacent to the courtyard building introduces a piece of cultivated landscape for children and elderly via education and physical exercise, white the carved frames in the building offers additional indoor communal plot for the elderly residents. The herb garden, south of the tracks, highlights an immersive rooftop environment as a demonstration and experimentation space for the garden centre below and for the surrounding local schools. Lastly, the dispersed botanical boxes on the plaza give a full contrast of local and foreign plant species, provoking curiosities and fun in their charming micro habitat. All these new scales of greens-woods, community/herb gardens, and enclosed botanical boxes - together redefine the currently passive technical green zone along the train tracks to an active and productive social platform.
Urban Health, with options
With the additional new green typologies, three health options are manifested onsite. 1) 'Nature and Health' - a sustainable Living within nature in the 'wild wood' zone to the west where each house is congregated in a closely knit community in proximity to the nature reserve just outside the city; 2) 'Safety and Health' - a senior housing courtyard building with an immediate access to health care below (ambulance and medical professionals), community garden and indoor green plots; and 3) 'Fitness and Health' - indoor gym and outdoor public exercise deck at the rooftop herb garden. All three types promote both the physical and mental health for different community groups. The generous size of the 1 ha plaza further allows various uses including the daily commute, farmers market, seasonal community events and even the occasional large gatherings such as a concert or festival.
Housing & Program Diversity
Aligned with the frameworks for nature and health, the main goal for our housing proposal is to diversify its context and its architectural options, and to attract a wider group of residents to enliven the public space and community as a whole. Different housing typologies onsite on each side of the triangle pLaza further simplifies construction phasing. By providing different plots with different uses, each typology can be developed over time, when the development potential is met.
The general housing on the west side of the plaza takes a form of collective green habitation in abundance with trees. The building height varies from 3m - 9m (1 to 3 storeys] with basement for storage, and their unit size from 50m2 to 90m2 with a sufficient amount of access space to the underground tunnel emergency exit. These houses are geared toward singles, young couple and family. The 'wild wood' tree planting act as visual and noise buffer from the train tracks, additionally providing privacy between each house. One continuous, well-lit path connects all houses and back to the plaza.
The senior housing is a courtyard typology with a communal space on each floor with views toward rooftop herb garden, adjacent residential houses on hill, community garden, and the triangle plaza. The west section of ground floor is dedicated to shops, maximizing the visibility of the Hofwiessengasse corner and the plaza. The south/east section of the ground floor hosts day care among other social amenities with a playground in the courtyard where senior residents can watch them play from the upper floors. To ensure efficient network of medical care available for the elderly, the building has a direct access to the underground parking for ambuLances and medical facilities, while the community garden facing the train tracks act both as a buffer and a physically proactive, educational green space for the senior and children. The underground parking [approx. 200 for the site) extends from Hofwiessengasse on the east toward the Lainzer River on the west, occupying the under-space of the plaza.
Lastly, the temporary housing is Located on the south east corner of the site, at the level of the rooftop herb garden. The minimization of private space for the temporary working guests is reconciled by the large range of greenery and public space on the spot. The ground floor is shared between a gym and a garden centre which together promote fitness, gardening and health. Two staircases on both west and east of the building directly connect the plaza/street level to the rooftop.
Global Networks to Local Materials
Besides the above-ground transit infrastructure such as tram, train and bus, there exists an invisible network which elevates the site's significance: Lainzer tunnel going from Paris to Bratislava, the ORF satellites connecting the world, and the covered Lainz River which vertically crosses our site's underground. To heighten the awareness of the train tunnel passing underneath, the plaza's tiles are formed of stones from the tunnel's excavation. Meanwhile the path of the underground river is highlighted by a blue stone paver. All of the transit stop pavilions on site are used as large screens, illustrating ORF's broadcasts. The underground parking is exposed via holes which allow views from both in and up to the sky, as well as allow light down. The parking space becomes a richer space with natural daylight and planting elements. Across the plaza a series of glass boxes are dispersed, each housing different plant typologies from around the world. This fragmented botanical garden reminds passersby of the rich world ecoLogy. These series of quite tactile moments allow for a real human engagement with the world at large.
Dreiecksplatz, The Binding Agent
The triangle plaza represents the very fundamentals of our site strategy. It coheres multiple housing needs, commercial and social facilities, and various community profiles without compromising structural, cultural and aesthetic integrity. Concurrently, a series of green space, health and living styles are diversified in a place that would normally be a place to merely pass through. At Dreiecksplatz, people can gather, grow vegetable, watch neighbors do yoga, fix your own bicycle, while waiting for a tram to either the Vienna downtown or the Tiergarten.

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