Akademie der Bildenden KünsteRenovation of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
The impressive building designed by Theophil Hansen lives not only from the functional and architectural adequate courtyards but also from its correct solar orientation, exposure and the intrinsic value of the site.
Unfortunately, these have over time degenerated into unappealing parking spaces. With the integration of additional area for the storage room, the project aims to give back these courtyards to the building’s users, making them the center of the students and the public life. Instead of lowering the level of the storage room, which could incur problems regarding statics, impoundment and security, our proposal is based on the introduction of “tables”. On the west courtyard, another level in included above the storage room, with a barrier free access from the ground floor of the main building. This additional area has two main functions and it is seamlessly integrated into the foyer area. This is divided into an area for events and lounge area for the students, while the remaining space is dedicated to an interdisciplinary zone for exhibitions of the work of students, compensating the lack of existing rooms for public exhibitions. Theses spaces are covered by thin and light foil-like roof, supported by a shell structure that spans from the hall to the ground floor of the main building.
The second courtyard maintains its original function of parking space, but with the introduction of a second “table”, the original capacity doubles up to 32 cars. In this case, it is proposed a vertical lift parking system that would provide easier navigation and an optimized use. On the roof of this courtyard is created a new inner garden, with benches and resting places for students as well as the Sculpture Court. This space is intended to be an exhibition space for the students and teachers, a visible mark of the Academy’s works. In case of large events, this area can be used as an extension of the foyer.
In both “tables”, the original floor level (the storage room and the parking) is still visible. On the west courtyard, there is a walkable skylight, integrated on the new floor level, while in the East courtyard, this connection is open. In both cases, the aim is to keep the natural illumination of these floors while allowing a vertical visual connection between both levels.