The building was originally designed and built in the „Gründerzeit“, with a richly decorated facade and a tower at the north-eastern corner. After it had been heavily damaged during World War II, the house received an „austerity facade“ without any kind of decoration, structured by nothing but the remaining window areas.
Over the years, a variety of different shop portals created a facade mix on the ground floor, as is common in the Mariahilfer Strasse. „Remodelling the building has restored its consistent appearance. The ground floor has been adapted to current standards of shop portals in modern shopping districts“, says architect Arkan Zeytinoglu. „The dormer of the roof areas at the crossing point of Mariahilfer Strasse and Getreidemarkt resulted from the consistent continuation of the geometry of the existing building. The solution resembles a tower buckling into the roof pitch.
Instead of building a corner tower, the arris corresponds with the existing corner solution.“ „Mariahilfer Strasse 1 is an expression of our high demands on design and quality“, says Michael Tojner, member of the WertInvest management board. „WertInvest acquires objects in high-class city locations with historic structure – many of them under preservation order – and develops and revitalizes these precious properties in combination with modern architecture, as was also the case with Mariahilfer Strasse 1“, Tojner explains. Balancing act between privacy and exchange „An office location requires areas of permanent availability, freely accessible for everybody, a clear and open design, but also the opportunity to retreat“, says Arkan Zeytinoglu.
„People spending much time in the office should feel comfortable there. We have created a place everyone likes to enter and an atmosphere which makes exchange easy“, Tojner says, satisfied with the new headquarters. Transparent Energy Transparency and the play with glass and mirrors create wideness and intimacy, connect and separate the personal working areas in a subtle way. Curtains provide the opportunity to make the separated work areas more intimate and safe. The interior corresponds with the outer shell – horizontal, fast, and comfortable at a time. Natural materials and colors contrast with the lightness of the space to keep it grounded.
Views, interrupted by streams of light, define flexible offices for meetings or lounge conversations. The restrained furniture allows the room to unfold. Ceiling art by Megumi Ito The regularly interweaved metal bands of the ceiling in the reception area are a symbol for water and waves. „It is my intention to support the everlasting, quietly and steadily growing success of the company“, the artist explains. Playing with the reflections of daylight is as important as is the emphasis of the representative character.
One floor above, Megumi has created a light ceiling. An overall number of 9,000 interconnected copper rings create a regular ceiling landscape with indirect lighting. The ring as a symbol of affiliation is to unite the offices and the people working in them. Copper has a cleaning effect in the sense of Yin and Yang; it creates balance and a kind of grounding as a contrast to the dynamic architecture.
The two top floors are similar with regard to floor plans and assignment of functions. The main difference lies in the floor design of the entrance areas and corridors – light natural stone on the one floor, a carpet with wave design on the other. The „sky lounge“ is located on top of the two office floors. It is glazed all around with a full view of wind and weather, and equipped with a conference table, a fireplace, a more intimate area with sitting bench and a kitchen transforming into a table, which was designed especially for this room.
Showcased nature by Bernd Hochwartner
The roof terrace itself is „showcased nature above the roofs of the city“. The architectonic landscape consisting of wooden decks, interrupted by fields of vegetation, invites to stay and stroll around. The wooden decks are multifunctional – they can be used to sit, lie or lean on, they serve as noise barrier and privacy screen. The plants are mainly domestic woody plants, such as pine, birch, and juneberry, with plant tapestries below them. Nature leaves its trace througout the whole building, from the entrance to the inner courtyard, from the winter garden to the offices, up to the roof. The greened funnels reflect the idea of an abstracted interior garden. „The green workplace is an enrichment for the healthy atmosphere of a company“, says Hochwartner.Location: Vienna, Austria
Design: ZEYTINOGLU ZT GmbH
Contract Assignment: 2005
Start of planning: 2005
Start of construction: 04/2007
Site Area: 941 m2
Floor Area Roof: 1.366 m2
Floor Area Existing Floors: 2.400 m2
Floor Area Ground Floor: 962 m2
Budget: 7 Mio EUR
Structure: Steel Construction with trapezoidal sheet ceiling, Insulated Wooden Construction, Cladding with Aluco Bond Elements
Project Manager: Wolfgang Ennser
Project Team: Alexander Jarau, Manuel Singer
Client: WertInvest Immobilientreuhand GmbH
Planning Coordination: Brand & Partner, Maria Enzersdorf
Structure: Wendl ZT GmbH, Graz
HVAC: BPS Engineering, Wien
Electrical Systems: BPS Engineering, Wien
Building Physics: Arch. Zörrer & Lotz, Wien
Photos: Hertha Hurnaus