Around the world, we see the emergence of mixed-use buildings, combining housing, leisure, community life… Sharing spaces fits in the zeitgeist.
Whether it is due to population growth, increasing urban density or rising property prices, it is clear that in recent years mixed-use building projects have multiplied throughout Europe. Here are some striking examples.
CONCORDIA DESIGN – Wroclaw, Poland
This project started with a listed 19th-century building on an island. It brings together workspaces, a venue for congresses and events, a bar and a public roof terrace. It quickly became a meeting place, renowned for its avant-garde spirit and creative cultural atmosphere. As architect Nathalie De Vries (MVRDV) explains, “the project combines a historic structure, a vibrant mixture of creative and exciting businesses, but also places of destination for the general public.” Unlike places of transit, places of destination imply that visitors undertake the journey there. Hence the success of this project, especially since it is located on an island.
WERK 12 – Munich, Germany
This renovation, right in the middle of the Werksviertel-Mitte district, stands outs for its bold facade: 5 metres of onomatopoeia taken from old German Donald Duck cartoons. A public pavement runs through the building, creating deliberate blurring between interior and exterior. WERK 12 is both elegant and cool, with pubs and restaurants on the ground floor and the Audi Business Innovation offices, a gym and even a swimming pool on top. The spaces have been designed to be flexible, so that the next occupants can, in turn, write a part of the history of WERK 12.
HoHo WIEN – Vienna, Austria
At 84 metres high, HoHo is the 2nd tallest wooden skyscraper in the world, just behind a Norwegian building that surpasses it by 1.5m. This 24-floor sustainable project includes a hotel, apartments, a restaurant, a wellness centre and offices. This mix of functions ensures that after 6:00 pm, the lights do not go out. And the developer explained that the equivalent of all the wood used for the construction of HoHo will have grown back in the Austrian forests in exactly one hour and seventeen minutes!
We will end this list of mixed-use creations with a quote from Estudio Chao, the Brazilian architects who work on the versatility of spaces: “What if we refused to accept the idea that in order to live together, we would have to lock ourselves behind walls and avoid the danger we believe to be living outside, the frightening threat of others?”