text project list
description school extension, open competition, entry
category public
location Vienna, Austria
built area 1.560 m²
design team

Stephan Buerger, Demetra Katsota, Maria Chassioti, Georgios Kourakos, Myrto Tsarouchi


Taras Diachun

model photographs

Leonidas Kalpaxidis

client City of Vienna, MA 21A
design year 2018

The intervention is as direct and restrained as possible, surgically inserted, allowing the Nova school to work as an entity. The building integrates easily into the formal vocabulary of its context with its façade inspired by the rhythm, scale and material expression of the neighbouring buildings reinterpreted in a curtain wall structure. Its materiality confirms the volumetric character: an exposed grid with bare aluminium cladding, glazed surfaces randomly interrupted by solid parts. The light silver-coloured aluminium window frames refer to the off white-coloured facades and window frames of the surrounding buildings. Openings, providing sufficient natural ventilation are placed in relation to interior planning rather than imposing any formal, exterior logic.

The architecture of the new building responds to the demands for a progressive and contemporary educational programme built around team working methodology, individualized instruction, skill building and project-based learning. The decision to place the gymnasium below ground liberated the ground floor which acquires a distinct public character. The main entrance to the new building is from the west via a passage establishing a connection between the street, the school and the inner courtyard. The interconnected public spaces -common room and cafeteria- will not only be merely part of the school, but are anticipated to become a popular place for the local community. On the upper levels the plan’s typology references that of the ‘twin’ school buildings with their central distribution hall, yet radicalises their tripartite organisation featuring a new stratification, with the central axis serving as a three-dimensional distributive and group-work space. On levels +02 and +03, four new classrooms on each, are grouped into a cluster with learning commons just outside. By programming multi-use in the in-between spaces, the scheme de-institutionalizes transitional spaces and gives a sense of place. These gallery-like common areas, including lounges, media space, a storytelling niche or project area, encourage flexible teaching approaches and cater for social communication. The new classrooms, provide an environment that promotes concentration and relaxation. Accessed from two sides, they meet safety regulations while also allowing the room’s subdivision into separate functional ‘corners’. Having a fully external glazed façade, a maximum natural illumination is achieved while at the same time unveiling views. The building’s vertical stratification responds to the existing ‘twin’ buildings’ section, facilitating levelled access on all levels. A rooftop playscape will provide a secure play environment for the whole school complex, while unveiling spectacular views above Vienna’s rooftops.

The building is an innovative construction, offering unique qualitative possibilities. The below ground levels are concrete while the upper are a modular timber structure for maximum flexibility and short construction times. The materials’ palette within the building is confined to fair-faced concrete, natural timber, white plaster and glass.

Title Year Type Locaction Country
PENINSULA 2020 residential, hospitality Paros Greece
VILLAS A 2019 residential, hospitality Costa Navarino ,  Messinia Greece
RESTAURANT THALERSEE 2020 public, hospitality Graz Austria
VILLAS B 2019 residential, hospitality Costa Navarino ,  Messinia Greece
OKZT HUB 2018 offices Klagenfurt Austria
MAYRHOFEN STATION 2018 public Mayrhofen Austria
HOUSES A·2 2014 residential, hospitality Paros Greece
FERANT GARDEN APARTMENT 2017 residential Ljubljana Slovenia
CING LABORATORY BUILDING 2018 public Nicosia Cyprus
STUDENT STUDIOS PATRAS 2007 residential Patras Greece
PX SIX THRESHOLDS 2012 public Athens Greece
HOUSE E 2016 residential Artemida Greece
HOUSE L 2016 residential, research Antiparos Greece
LANDHOTEL SILVESTAR 2016 commercial, residential, hospitality Motovun Croatia
AS IF 2014 residential, research Mykonos Greece
HOUSE B 2014 residential Crete Greece
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY GRAZ 2015 public Graz Austria
HOUSE T 2016 residential Antiparos Greece
HOUSE H 2012 residential Corfu Greece
KURA CULTURAL CENTRE 2013 public Mingachevir Azerbaijan
THREE SPACES 2013 exhibition Athens Greece
KUBAN RIVERSIDE HOTEL 2013 commercial, hospitality Krasnodar Russia
STUDENT STUDIOS THESSALONIKI 2017 residential Thessaloniki Greece
HOUSE A+B 2008 residential Paros Greece
COOP BANK HEADQUARTERS 2012 commercial Nicosia Cyprus
PX THREE CORNERS 2012 public Athens Greece
AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR RESIDENCE 2013 residential Athens Greece
COASTAL DOMAINS 2017 exhibition Athens Greece
ANNENHEIM CUBES 2012 residential, hospitality Treffen Austria
FERLACH TECHNICAL SCHOOL 2016 public Ferlach Austria
CASPIAN SEA RESORT 2012 public, residential, masterplan, hospitality Baku Azerbaijan
6 VOIDS: PXATHENS 2012 exhibition Venice Italy
BELGIAN EMBASSY 2009 public Athens Greece
CAUCASUS CONFERENCE CENTRE 2012 public Qabala Azerbaijan
GERMAN SCHOOL ATHENS 2017 public Athens Greece
LAKE APARTMENTS 2012 residential Bodensdorf Austria
PX ATHENS 2012 public, masterplan Athens Greece
LARNACA AGORA 2011 public Larnaca Cyprus
NOVARA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2018 public Vienna Austria
OFFICE A 2010 commercial Athens Greece
HBWBC SCHOOL 2010 public Vienna Austria
DASOUPOLI HIGH SCHOOL 2010 public Nicosia Cyprus
RATHAUSPARK 2009 public Vienna Austria
TOWNHOUSE K 2009 residential Nafplion Greece
VILLA W1 2008 residential Corfu Greece
HELLENIC PARLIAMENT 2008 research Athens Greece
KYRIAZI DEVELOPMENT 2008 commercial, residential Athens Greece
GERMAN DEVELOPMENT 2008 masterplan Sofia Bulgaria
SUPERSTORE V 2008 commercial Athens Greece
MELINA PAVILION 2007 exhibition Athens Greece
GLEISDORF DEVELOPMENT 2007 residential Gleisdorf Austria
HELEXPO PAVILION 2007 exhibition Thessaloniki Greece
VILLA S 2006 residential Vienna Austria
VERTICAL ATTICA 2006 masterplan, research Attica Greece
SCHLOSSMUSEUM 2006 public Linz Austria
EXHIBITION 102x 2006 exhibition Athens Greece
HOUSE M 2004 residential Athens Greece
SKYWALK BRIDGE 2004 public Vienna Austria
HELLENIKON PARK 2004 masterplan Athens Greece
DARNITSA DEVELOPMENT 2003 commercial Kiev Ukraine
TRANSITIONAL INTERSTICES 2003 residential Ano Liosia Greece