Social housing for the new century. The remit was to design a residential development that offered both optimum operating costs and excellent environmental credentials whilst combining high occupational density and good permeability. In concrete times, the project had to come in below the cut-off point for residential building subsidies and meet the demanding Passivhaus energy standard as well as find its place in an attractive landscape amid an architecturally disparate built environment including a 1960s university campus.
Based on the notion of subdividing a large housing development into single, compact point blocks, the Lohbach project was built in two phases: Lohbach I comprising six buildings, followed by Lohbach II which added two stand-alone structures. The slightly offset layout interspersed with green spaces, paths and squares provides transparency and permeability. The foursquare blocks with internal access and service provision and wrap-around balconies offer high levels of comfort and convenience, attractive design and high-quality materials – all at an extremely favourable square-metre price.
Simple and environmentally friendly – with minimal energy consumption
The Am Lohbach apartment blocks feature all the environmental options that can be implemented using simple technology from solar panels via heat recovery to rain water recycling – everything that can be done without recourse to high-tech solutions. The energy consumption levels achieved here are still unique in Austria.
The design fulfils the stated desire for social acceptance with a high level of creativity and the use of quality materials. The strong and innovative projecting facade with its copper folding shutters both responds to the wish for individual control over privacy and the need for a functional sun and weather protection system.
It has created an environment that makes living together easier. The very low turnover rate illustrates the project’s popular success.