Franz&Sue: Stadtelefant. Neighbourhood building and architectural cluster - best architects 21


Stadtelefant. Neighbourhood building and architectural cluster

best architects 21

office/administrative buildings


Vienna, Austria


Andreas Buchberger


Together with its industry partners, the architectural firm Franz&Sue has delivered the Stadtelefant (literally the «city elephant») building in Sonnwendviertel, the city neighbourhood defined by Vienna Central Station and a new residential area. The structure serves as an office building and architecture cluster and was funded, planned and constructed by this group of commercial developers itself. Since early 2019, the building has been home to several architectural firms, architectural institutions and companies working in this sector. Facilities open to the public on the ground floor serve as a cafeteria for employees and locals, as well as an events space for guests from the creative and architecture scenes. Rental apartments are located on the top floor. This mixed use intentionally contributes to a vibrant, socially diverse neighbourhood.

A pared-back visual aesthetic, durable materials and sustainable concepts define the building – from the construction method using factory-built concrete sandwich elements, through to the 3.20-metre-high rooms suitable for a variety of uses. The factory-built concrete components feature prefabricated, sand-blasted, exposed-concrete surfaces and, in combination with the wooden elements, give the interiors a tactile and homely quality. The concrete actively stores heat and the building is cooled and ventilated via the ceilings, so that the building technology is kept to a minimum and out of sight. Externally, the grey, grid-like façade stands out from conventional glazed office buildings. The newly constructed Stadtelefant references the urban qualities and structures of Vienna’s «Gründerzeit».