Designed by Pichler & Traupmann Architekten ZT GmbH, New Social Housing Heustadelgasse is located inVienna, Austria. By means of a series of competitions the municipality of Vienna called for a new type of social housing. Social housing should now also be available as single family houses and duplex houses. However, the extremely tight frameworks of public funding and of the zoning law applicable to properties close to the green belt still were to be observed.
Pichler & Traupmann create a new urbanistic typology – in between the existing typologies of the garden city and the allotment gardens, as well as a new architectural typology – in between the existing typologies of the row house and the summerhouse. The prototype of the house is configured point-symmetrically. Thus it is possible to have another house attached in each of the four directions. The strategy also allows for simple scaling in order to achieve various sizes of houses and different types of apartments. Based on a single prototype, the housing development shows unity and multiplicity at the same time.
The notion of settlement, to be realized within the framework of social housing, is developed within a field of tension between the curb of the street in the East and the landscape in the West, as well as between the privacy of the garden plot and the openness of the common garden. To each of the houses an exactly defined area of terrace and garden is assigned to be used privately. However, a network of public and semi-public paths and places runs between those private spaces.
A social agenda also is a very important part of the project. A small community house exists amidst the housing development. With delivery, the developer offered support to the residents to organize themselves democratically and to elect their own advisory board.