An Austrian architectural firm designed, developed, financed and built its office building itself. They have made it a cluster dedicated to creation, including a public cafeteria and shared premises, to encourage networking and cross-practices.
The Franz&Sue office explains: “We love to explore new and unusual paths. Working together as equals and maintaining an intensive exchange of knowledge with others is – we are sure of that – beneficial to all. We believe that together we are stronger and life is easier. Our office building was designed right next to Vienna Central Station and has involved several tradespeople working in construction. Our house is truly a pioneering project: it is the only building in this essentially residential area where there are workspaces on all floors.“
Together, not everyone for themselves!
In this participatory building called Stadtelefant (city elephant), the designers have brought together several actors from the construction sector: fellow architects but also companies from related sectors such as construction software designers and fire safety specialists.
Communication being essential for the team, part of the meetings takes place around fresh meals cooked each day. To do so, a space of 100m² has been reserved on the ground floor. This cafeteria is also public: people who live and work in the neighbourhood and professionals from the Viennese architectural sector are invited to come and eat there.
These are architects for whom community life is not just an abstract concept lying on a millimetre plan.