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Reininghaus Goes Smart

The New Quarter of Graz

The modern city should be vital, varied, and worth living in, which is what the adaptive reuse of the previous brewery district of Reininghaus should become. What on the surface sounds plausible requires a complicated, multi-layered strategy ? how can vitality and variation be planned?


Architects: Atelier Thomas Pucher
Location: Graz, Austria
Project area: 110.000 m²

Team: Thomas Pucher, Erich Ranegger, Gabriele Steinmann, Markus Gruber, Marek Kowalski, Aleksander Wasielewski, Marvi Basha, Roman Krajger, Clemens Berlach, Klaus Hohsner, Nemanja Kocic, Marko Acimovic, Ana Ocic, Anna Krystyna Jurkiewicz, Hannes Stöffler, Vlada Lukic, Teresa Ricardo, Matteo Saya, Timothy Wat, Bartlomiej Poteralski, Cornelia Pirker.

We firstly engender zones in the large district by reconstituting the existing street structure to band the new district with different levels of privacy. The central and super public esplanade forms the urban spine of the new district, with two green and more residential bands, one each on right and left side of the esplanade, flanked by a public street. These run north to south through the district from Reininghausstrasse in the north up to the Wetzelsdorfer street in the south. These bands are enmeshed with five transverse bands of function and materiality that carefully meander to form a finer urban fabric at a more human scale. These bands we have called by their differing ambiances: Welcome, Old Reininghaus, Urban Park, Green Park; and Art, Culture, and Commerce.

The result as they react with the varying privacies is a complex network of different qualities and occurrences that produce unique experiential moments with each combination. One also finds in this meandering urbanism, on the one hand significant historic buildings of the brewery preserved in the structure of central spaces, and on the other, new development that further accentuates the system of paths, and creates, in an almost playful manner, areas and spaces benefitting both social life and daily life.

The next major strategy is to sectionally partition the area into three zones in relation to market flexibility such that the district remains active, current, and vital. The ground level is structured as a "Superflex" Zone so long-term vacancies are avoided. It is designed to respond swiftly to change and adapt to new processes in short notice, as public functions and business areas today are in continuous change. The next five storeys are structured as a "Flex" Zone. Here the building remains agile towards work space and living space. Thereby it is possible to address Graz's current high demand for housing but remain flexible to react to Graz's future needs. Above the 5th floor, the last zone, is reserved for purely residential living. Here one has a great view over Graz and the ideal orientation to the sun, and upholds a stable occupation of the new quarter of Graz.