AVA-Hof building

Design studio/Professor Valentin Bearth

Keywords: reflecting on the banal / getting interwoven into the historic town center / opening up to history

According to Austrian architect Carl Appel (1911—1997) the AVA-Hof building is a “not very successful business and office building from 1973,“ which was erected to replace a school building from the late nineteenth century. From a purely architectural perspective, the current building has no relevance. It is not subject to any kind of protection and could be torn down and replaced. It seems that the trapezoid-shaped lot at a strategic location in the historical city center is not used adequately. The old city center could benefit strongly from a truly convincing function and striking design. Thus, the main issue at the beginning of the project was the function of the building which eventually became the point of departure for the development of concrete forms.

In the strictly regulated historic city center the key location of the AVA-Hof building offers a unique possibility to create a new building but also to design a new public venue for the city. One of the design premises for Valentin Bearth’s class for this location was to develop an expressive architectural language within the historic city center. While the aim was also to create a dialogue with the existing structures the studio was seeking a design that stands on its own in a pioneering fashion, even possibly becoming a new landmark for the historic city center.

Photos: Günter Richard Wett