Kaltenbacher ARCHITEKTUR / STEINBAUER architektur+design
House Havana in the Tobacco Factory Linz
best architects 24
renovation and addition
The renaissance of the glass block
The «House Havana» is a listed monument located near the Danube River promenade in the industrial ensemble of the tobacco factory in Linz. It was built as a tobacco warehouse in the 1930s according to plans by Peter Behrens and Alexander Popp. In the mid-1960s, additional storeys were added to the storage building, and the areas to the south and the north in front of the building were developed. After the demolition of all non-listed historical components in 2017, an EU-wide architecture competition was held to find ideas for a new use for the building. The credo of the revitalisation was not to disturb the balance and strong presence of the industrial monument by Behrens and Popp despite a new façade statement, but rather to apply a coherent monument preservation concept. Glass blocks – originating from the early twentieth century – are the main players here as elements of functional architecture. This choice of material enables maximum light yield inside the formerly dark tobacco storehouse. The glass façade consists of 70,000 glass blocks and extends over six floors. The newly built stair tower inside creates an introverted environment before entering the individually designed office space. Two single-flight concrete staircases are arranged opposite one another for access to each storey.