Monday, 9 July 2012

The politics of digital architecture: Videos

Lars Spuybroek on "the sympathy of things":

Panel discussion "the politics of digital architecture":

on the panel:
Lars Spuybroek
Patrik Schumacher
Peter Trummer
Bart Lootsma
Marjan Colletti
moderation by:
Jan Willmann

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Emergent technologies is a course at uni innsbruck held by Franz Sam. His main goal is probably to point us students towards actual building problems (as well as productions problems) and understanding how to conceive a working smart structure. This can be done by super high-tech or surprisingly low-tech technologies. For example, a student had to design a platform made of a wood - birch pitch composite, using nothing else than that. Really cool and super smelly.  

Anyhow, I was (and still am) super interested in n-gone structures (mostly hexagons), since they are or better should be a smart way to achieve very efficient structure. The efficiency can be seen in things like material usage optimizations or possibilities to achieve very high "transparencies". The design is rather a try of showing as many problems as possible, in terms of how the structure will be stressed.

Again I have to thank Jon for let me use his tool geometrygym.


Friday, 1 April 2011


A very small village (850 inhabitants) in Burgenland (east of Austria, in the middle of nowhere), called Raiding, happened to have a very famous musician, called Franz Liszt. So this village got, thanks to the EU, a, at least from my point of view, a very nice concert hall. The hall seats 600 persons. Raiding is also close to the "top" wine region of Burgenland. Well, all this made the people from Raiding think of how to make a bit of profit out of that. So they decided to invite some really nice Japanese architects to do some designs for them.
On top of that, University of Innsbruck also decided to do some design studios in Raiding.

The basic setting for the design studio was to find solutions for a basically not yet properly verbalised question. Raiding doesn’t really know what it wants. The ideas are ranging from huge five star hotels to small units, basically shelters. But the aim is to use the concert hall as a kick off to introduce some infrastructure which should be able to get some attention and attract guests to stay longer in Raiding than for the time of one concert.  
This is where we, as a design class, started off.

The design presented here proposes a “hotel like” (a place for workshops, rehearsals, events, conferences etc.) solution and question at the same time. It provides Raiding with 17 rooms, ranging from 12 to 30 sqm, on top of a multifunctional hall (500 sqm). Because there are no clear questions towards the touristic aspects, the design proposal for the interiors leaves a defined answer open to discussion.

The analysis of Raiding gives a very interesting image, especially if it is set in context with the dynamic environment (cultural life, Vienna, neighbouring villages, Burgenland and its history). Raiding hasn’t changed at all within the last 150 years. The population stayed more or less the same. There are no big changes in the basic fabric, beside the gradual renewal and adaptation to a modern life standard. Raiding managed to keep its authenticity without fading into the typical Austrian traditionalism. This also allowed the Raidingers to prevent their identity.

The design proposal reinforces this authenticity and identity through a strong dynamic gesture, which interacts in a field of tension with the modernist concert hall and the traditional houses. The field of interaction (tension) enables one to read Raiding as a unique entity, rather than a traditional village with some pieces of contemporary architecture.

The site was not only picked in order to oppose to formal languages of the concert hall and the proposal, but also to play with the edges of two worlds, facing each other. On one hand a parking site for 250 cars, on the other hand cultural landscape. The design works as a mediator between them by playing with transparencies and reflections without hiding the friction between the two aesthetic worlds.   

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


A new passenger terminal for Innsbruck airport. Since the course was structural design at University of Innsbruck, institute for experimental design, the main focus of the project lies indeed in structural optimization, i.e. the design itself plays a minor role. This can be seen in the development of the projects plan, it is not developed at all. Nevertheless, following the rules of parametricism (I, personally prefer the term of "autopoieses of architecture") it was possible to inform the design process to achieve a coherent overall design. From my point of view this was especially possible because of the building typology, an airport. An airport does not necessarily need to have a strong connection to its context.


First of all I have to thank Jon Mirtschin, the developer of geometrygym. His tool brings architecture and engineering closer together. This opens up new ways of how to incorporate building performance, i.e. structural design, into the early design process , also sustainability in terms of material usage can be achieved by implementing and using these tools right at the beginning of a design process, rather than trying to optimize a "final" design as good as possible. Beside the economical benefits it also informs the aesthetic aspects of a design, like in this project presented here. Form is structure.

The same is also valid for [uto] and there tool GECO. I also have to thank [uto] for always supporting me with help and advice.

Last but not least, Michael Budig as course instructor.

Monday, 10 January 2011


A new airport terminal for Innsbruck. It's still a lot of work to do but I'm coming closer to the end. Here are some facade studies as well as some details. The hole exterior and the interior are still missing.

Special THX to geometrygym and [uto] !