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Welcome Tower
Redesign of a 60?s Office Building in Graz, Austria. Comission

Welcome Tower Graz: a bold and sophisticated update for an office block

A typical 1950s office block of Minimalist yet sensitive design, the Welcome Tower is legally protected as a fine example of the architecture of this period. The brief, therefore, was to update the structure within strict limits: on the outside, only a change of colour and extra glazing were permitted.

While the Welcome Tower itself had remained the same over the years, its surroundings had transformed dramatically. The once open and subtle vista around the main railway station is now filled with the brasher structures of later periods and traffic congestion has grown, so that the finer details of the Welcome Tower had been swamped by its changed context.

A fascinating, subtle exterior coating was chosen: a dark plasterwork mix containing black slate crystals. Its colour shifts between shades of brown and purple as the day progresses, while the sunlight catches the refined glitter. Additional glazing for sound insulation and sunshade glass improve work conditions inside, while the stainless steel frame fittings lend the windows a slightly industrial, raw look. Open plan offices and mixed zones provide a pleasant modern working environment.

The Welcome Tower’s update is a subtle minimalist intervention, yet creates a sense of sophisticated calm in this busy inner city area.