Today's Daily Dirty Diary

VIENNA’S INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO PUBLIC HOUSING

 

The Vienna Model, a recent exhibit at New York’s Austrian Cultural Forum celebrated the city’s unique approach to public, subsidized housing. Austria has had a history of employing prominent architects including Adolf Loos to produce public housing that is both visually striking and functional. Over 60% of the Viennese currently live in municipally owned housing whereas almost 85% of New Yorkers live in privately owned residences, proof of the stark contrast of the social and economic infrastructures between the United States and other countries.

Viennese residents are able to enjoy affordable high-quality housing, rent control, and renter’s rights — privileges most New Yorkers know nothing about. The city government believes that housing is an innate human right and should not be controlled by a free market. This approach clearly reflects the specialized design schemes of the buildings — structures that offer luxurious amenities, direct access to public transport, and communal gathering areas.

(ABOVE) Gasometer City, 1996-2001, was built right into four former gas tanks and includes a student residence, a cinema, and is connected to its own subway station.

Sperrgasse 17, 2004 , is a vibrant structure, elevating the visual aesthetic of the neighborhood and includes spacious terraces with stunning views.

 

Situated next to a large inner city park, Bike City, 2008, was intended to to encourage the resident’s use of bicycles, offering bike storage rooms, a bike repair center, large elevators for residents who want to keep their bicycles in their apartments.

WienerbergCity Urban Development , 2002-2004, is the largest new urban area in the south of Vienna. The residence includes private villas on top of low rent housing; however,  public areas including rooftop pools, an elementary school, and playgrounds are open to all residents.

The bright orange façades of Sargfabrik, 1996, are only one standout of this structure. It allows residents to develop “living boxes” into their own personalized residences and features seminar rooms as well as a Turkish bath.

Harry Glück, the architect of Alt Erlaa, 1976, was intent on creating a structure which offered both the advantages of suburban individual housing and high rise living. The complex even offers its own medical center and subway station.

Reumann-Hof Housing Estate, 1924, showcased the architectural principles developed by Hubert Gessner —lush courtyards, street facing façades, intricate banisters, and innovative lampposts. Gessner believed that “architecture for the poor must never look poor.”

 

 






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