refurbishment, rooftop extension and garden loft

1210 Vienna, 2018 – ongoing

In the rapidly changing neighborhood of central Floridsdorf, with many buildings being torn down and new construction activities ongoing, more and more of the historic structure will be lost. In many cases, renovating an old house and converting the attic into apartments is a costly affair : Developers are thus forced to make use of the utmost space possible and often see no other way than replacing old inventory like doors or windows by cheaper, modern ones. The special character is lost, for the sake of money and convenience.

In the middle of all this stands a two-story building. A small house that has been owned for generations by a pharmacist family, who have decided to top it up, renovate the dwellings to give it new purpose and life. With all these problems and ambitions given, ”slow architecture“ seemed to be the only suitable answer:

An architecture that evolves stepwise, adjustable to the current needs and budget by carefully and slowly transforming room by room, floor by floor. As a first step, the existing apartments have been renovated and modernised, while always taking care to maintain their characteristics. The spaces in the attic floor have not been transformed to the economically full extent – instead, the old roof shape has been kept and only lifted – now creating a generous top floor, that is used as a loft apartment and even a gallery in the future.

After that, the 100-year old garden house that is located on the backside of the dwelling house, will be slightly extended and turned into a loft. By confining to simple construction methods that can also be executed by oneself, the costs can be kept at a very low level to make the extension affordable.

location: Floridsdorf, 1210 Wien | principal use: multi-unit residential house | total floor area: 610m2 | year: 2018 – | status: ongoing | design team: Mark Neuner, Nikolaus Kastinger