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Atelier Thomas Pucher
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2006 - 2014
Tartu Rebase Street
Housing Estate in Tartu, Estonia. Invited competition, 1st prize

What makes a Villa?
The villa-type has changed over the centuries. Long after Palladio made an icon with the Villa Rotonda in 1571 it was Mies who set the standards for villas in the 20th century with the Villa Tugendhat in 1930 and the Barcelona Pavilion in 1929. Still in our days the single family house a sometimes romantic vision of the villa - is the most wanted living type; more than 50% of our population want to have it or at least dream of it (Despite of the high costs and influence on our environment).

So we asked ourselves a question:
Would it be possible to combine the space and the "single" of the private villa with the economic advantages of an apartment house?
The advantages are striking: less building costs per m², less maintenance costs, no gardening (except if favoured), no isolation for your kids, etc. Still the main issues for the private villa are the garden outdoors, the boundless view and (most of all) the sense of privacy and private property. Therefor we had to go even further:

The stacked Villas
In simply stacking one villa or penthouse as the urban equivalent next to each other and on top of each other while giving them the required qualities space, view, outdoor it is possible to combine both types and advantages. After all it would be very clever even for people who could afford much more to choose the stacked Villa type.

444 appartments
Net floor area (excl. parking): 29.200m?

Team : Atelier Thomas Pucher & Bramberger [architects]
Thomas Pucher, Alfred Bramberger, Birte Böer, Ana Norgard, Rupert Richter-Trummer, Hans Waldhör, Martin Mathy, Georg Auinger, Erich Österbauer, Sabine-Katharina Egarter

Photos :

The buildings are organised in a very simple and compact way.
The LOBBY, with the staircase and its thin, spiral atrium is in the centre of the building. The apartments are organised around this centre like a ring with a clear separation in two zones.
The inner part is formed by a continuous SERVICE RING . It inhabits entrances, wardrobes, toilets, bathrooms and saunas, sometimes kitchens. All infrastructural elements are compressed in this area, thus providing economic distances for installations and a noise barrier to the lobby.
The outer part is embodied by the spacious LIVING RING , oriented to the sun and the view. It provides flexible space without load bearing elements. Thus it is possible to organise it individually with light weight walls. Even removable walls are thinkable to generate a flexibility lasting over years and generations.
The living ring is surrounded by a continuous balcony. With its flipped - thus irregular - edge it is liable for the characteristic form of the buildings.

According to the north-south direction along the street, the city-slabs are organized with cross-stacked apartments, running through the width of the building from east to west to achieve sunlight during the whole day. The chosen organisation ? originally by Le Corbusier`s Unite D?Habitation ? provides generous spaces with galleries and double height living rooms. On ground floor the floor plates melt with the plaza to form terraces for the lower apartments. The double height living rooms could be added with additional rooms in the future.