Im Schatten von Schönbrunn
by Manfred Thallner & Elisabeth Rücklinger, at TU Wien (2014/2015)
Directly in front of the famous castle of Schönbrunn, in between the main entrance and the nearest metro station, a big area has gone empty in the last years and should now be used as a place for parking and arriving tourists from all over the world.
As the parking was the main issue of the project, it was to us to find another function which will create a hybrid building.
While thinking of necessery buildings in this area, we realised that the castle already provides a huge variety of functions which do not need to be extended.
The Castle itself is a monumental building, built for rich emperors, while a lot of people did not have enough to eat. A situation which somehow continued throughout the time even until now. Millions of Euros are spent on architectural masterpieces for a small amount of people – while there is a majority living on the edge of poverty.
So we decided not to add something unnecesary like a hotel or museum at such a prominent spot of vienna – we would rather give it back to the people.
Furthermore, we decided not to hide that kind of „problem“ like we usually do in tourist areas. All the people visiting the castle of Schönbrunn should somehow be forced to face the fact that not everyone is in condition to travel around and visit famous spots – there is unemployment, poverty and a lot of other social issues in this country and the whole world.
Therfore, two paths are created through the area which are attached from different functions like education, help-center, residential, shops and more – to create a social center.
Along the path for tourists (blue), different situations and rooms are created which should show the variety of feelings and conditions that go hand in hand with social disadvantages.
Furthermore, to make people think about the monumental castle of Schönbrunn in a different way, the path is also considered as an exhibition of expensive buildings throughout the centuries – in which the castle aligns as just another example.
The second path (brown) is created for residents and other socialy disadvantaged people which use the social center. It sometimes blocks the touristpath to force them into new paths and is mostly elevated above the tourists – so that this time its not the rich peolpe looking down at the poor.