The loft conversion in the Falkestrasse in the inner City of Vienna was the first realized deconstructivist building in the world and gained international attention for this new kind of architecture.

Client: Law Firm Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer, Vienna, Austria
Planning: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU  Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Design Principals: Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky
Project Architect: Franz Sam
Project Team: Mathis Barz, Robert Hahn, Stefan Krüger, Max Pauly, Markus Pillhofer, Karin Sam, Valerie Simpson
Structural Engineering: Oskar Graf, Vienna, Austria

Design: 1983
Design Development: 1987
Construction: 1987
Completion: 1988

Floor Area: 400 m²
Cubage: 2.400 m³

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Wolf D. Prix & Partne - Sheet2
©Coop Himmelb(l)au – Wolf D. Prix & Partne

The law firm Schuppich, Sporn, Winischhofer wanted to extend their office upwards. The attention was focussed on a large meeting room. Adjacent to it several smaller office units were to be designed. The project constitutes two storeys with a height of 7.80 m, with a flat area of 400 m². The spacial layout consists of a 90 m² meeting room, three office units include an office space, a reception area and adjacent rooms. It would also be possible to use the office as an apartment.

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Wolf D. Prix & Partne - Sheet3
©Coop Himmelb(l)au – Wolf D. Prix & Partne

The preliminary design of 1983 depicts the corner solution. (If there really is such a thing as a solution in architecture.) There are no alcoves or turrets on the roof, no context of proportions, materials or colors but, instead, a visualized line of energy which, coming from the street spans the project, thus breaking the existing roof and thereby opening it.

This space-creating taut arc – an element of Coop Himmelb(l)au’s architecture that since 1980 has progressively become more important – is both the steel backbone of the project and its posture. The open, glazed surfaces and the closed, folded or linear surfaces of the outer shell control the light and allow or restrict the view.

Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse By Coop Himmelb(l)au - Wolf D. Prix & Partne - Sheet4
©Coop Himmelb(l)au – Wolf D. Prix & Partne

Both directions of view, that from outside and that from within, define the complexity of the spacial relations. The differentiated and differentiating constructional system, which is a cross between a bridge and an airplane, translates the spacial energy into constructional reality.

The planning and the construction took one year each. On December 23rd, 1988 along with the Rooftop Remodeling Falkestrasse the first deconstructivist building was opened.


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