Suburban Block

Mirza Mujezinovic (NO/BA)

Gemeinnützige Bau-u. Wohnungsgenossenschaft "Wien-Süd"

Competition team

Sinisa LECIC (NO)

Europan 8 Wien



Liesing is a fragment in the suburban wasteland currently undergoing rehabilitation. The public aim is to improve the physical conditions where that public may exist and interact within the framework of approved sustainable values. The site is exposed to a high degree of noise as well as being captured in a tunnel-like condition: five levels of shipping containers on one side and a 260 metre-long “Unité” block on the other, with no sign of change in the near future. How to create an architecture that enhances the values of the public and at the same time allows an individual to thrive within his own sphere?
The proposal offers a condensed urban condition through the execution of a single architectural gesture - a megastructure fully capable of absorbing programmatic and contextual demands. The bridge ramp itself is the urban negotiator. Absorbing the topographical difference of the site, 17 metres needed for bridging the rail yard, our proposal also creates specific situations within the site: a vertical city block and a horizontal landscape with patio housing. The superimposition of these two creates potentials for public and commercial programmes – branch library, retail space, fitness centre, youth club and local café.


The competition proposal is based on a programmatic mix of 75% housing - 25% public functions, and a bridge connection over the adjacent rail tracks. This content allows programmes to be layered vertically – a housing carpet is superimposed onto volumes containing public programmes (shopping and gym) organized by the ascending promenade leading up to the bridge. As the structure gets taller, vertical perforations are introduced into the interior of the block along with the loft housing types.
The implementation proposal consists of 100% housing and no bridge. This programmatic constraint has ruled out the original idea of vertical layering. The competition proposal is remodelled: the idea of horizontal layering is introduced with different housing types juxtaposed (strips + carpet) whilst the original articulation from the competition proposal is maintained (promenade as a spatial organizer, system of public/semi-public spaces, housing mix/social mix, and architecture with a strong character).
The megastucture raises two issues: first, political acceptance by the municipality of an XL-scale housing project; second, the need to keep the promise of the megastructure, its programmatic richness. With ‘Red Vienna’, dealing with the XL-scale was no problem. It was much more difficult to fulfil the promise of a mix of uses. In the end, the critical minimum mix was achieved with maximum effort. This is a warning message: ‘mixing’ will always be the most difficult of our shared tasks.

The project explores potentials of two contrasting types: the "carpet" containing 80 atrium houses and the "lamelle" with 170 apartments. The horizontal type of living is mixed with the vertical one. The standard of subsidized housing is used as a departing point for articulation of architectural quality. For example, no bedroom is smaller than 10 sqm, minimum of 15 sqm of private outdoor areas (atriums, balconies, loggias), urban gardening on the roof, 25-meter-long swimming pool with auxiliary functions such as a gym and sauna.

Site informations


Synthetic site file EN

This project is connected to the following themes

Mobility - Urban Generator

The building's inclined structure transforms the idea of the building into a programmatical link, activating a new connection above the railway tracks. The development of the programmes accompanies and enriches this new connection.

Housing - Community

The deep patio types contribute to creating a suburban block that forms part of an overall strategy of urban renewal, based on the idea of extralarge figures “landed” in the periphery to inject micro-hubs of interiorised urban character radiating positive impulses into their surroundings.

Shared spaces - Link - promenade

All the common space in the sloping mega block proposed in this project is concentrated on the central distribution spine, which offers different spaces to accommodate the various programmatic features.

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© Ivan Brodey
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