Housing and Design


The Section of Housing Construction and Design sees itself as an open forum of university scholarship, research and experiment in which teachers, students, guests and outsiders join together as equals in producing a pool of knowledge on the theme of architecture and housing. This involves working in the Section with many kinds of approaches, themes, contents and methods, and discussing and evaluating relevant “hot” topics.

In the context of the studies, the Section sees its main task in the area of conceptual design and devises programmes for future conditions of architecture and housing. The set tasks provide students with a wide-ranging pool of different approaches to the topic of housing and all its marginal areas, including cooperative ventures with property developers, assignments issued by departments of the City of Vienna and other municipalities, experimental projects, and so forth. Also the Housing Construction Studio, which in the fourth semester teaches basics in the interpretation of housing construction, sees itself as a contextually ambitious and experimental design course, which treats content and form as a synthesised whole.

Besides research and conceptual-experimental ventures, since the year 2000 the Design-Build Studio has been a characteristic core component of the Section, implementing projects on a 1:1 scale. Here students are given the opportunity of running through all phases of a small but real architectural project: starting with the primary design sketches and going on to the section of models and detailed plans, communication with building contractors, users, authorities, specialist planners, artisan firms, producers, funding agencies and sponsors, finally to personal implementation of the construction works.

The range of planning and building tasks of the Design-Build Studio includes walk-in and usable installations in the urban public space as well as permanent buildings for charitable and social facilities in South Africa, Indonesia and Austria.

Focuses of research in the Section of Housing Construction and Design are placed on such themes as the interdisciplinary investigation of everyday architecture, integral planning processes for new buildings and building stock, also methodology and architectural science. The start was triggered in January 2017 for the cooperative F&E (Forschung und Entwicklung – Research and Development) Project (FFG – Austrian Research Promotion Agency) “Mischung: Possible! Impulse für eine nachhaltige Nutzungsmischung im Stadtentwicklungsgebiet Nordbahnhof Wien” (“Mixture: possible! Impulses for a sustainable usage mixture in the urban development area of North Railway Station Vienna”); this is being coordinated with several project partners.

Research Unit Head & Professorship

Header photo: Hertha Hurnaus