Harmath & Weilinger

Design studio/Professor Martin Boesch

Keywords: reusing the modern / the city’s southern gate / the new showcase warehouse for theater and art

Alpenstraße, which dates back to the 1930s, was one of the first roads designed for automobile traffic in the city. During the second half of the twentieth century, it became a top location for service and retail businesses that require a great deal of surface area. Many of the companies that settled here during the economic boom of the 1960s and 1970s have long since disappeared. This is also true of the furniture retailer Harmath & Weilinger, a name that still stands for the architecturally unimpressive object that has now been used for around fifteen years by the Universität Mozarteum, and Salzburg Museum. The building serves as an example of many comparable structures. The goal in working with this object was to find solutions that could be applied to similar structures in future. The focus was placed on the following questions: What are the other options than demolition? Can these buildings be appropriately adapted? Despite their deficits in terms of stability and structural engineering, can they be reutilized for different purposes?

These considerations are have been explored by the students in Martin Boesch’s class, developing six proposals for renovating and reusing existing architectural structures. After the original use as a furniture retailer, and now offices and storage, the existing, rather humble building is to be granted a “third life.”

Photos: Günter Richard Wett