The Long Garten - Living with a View of the Danube

Project data



Awards / Phase

2.2nd place


20.000 m2

48.2211, 16.4106

The Long Garden
Living With a View of the Danube

2nd Prize - Architectural Competition, 2017
Community Housing NEW


The structure, the plinth, seven buildings and their common green garden - the "Piano Nobile" - the Long Garden, are characterized like a score by their diversity, liveliness, adaptability, permeability and variability. A residential building suitable for all Viennese.

The composition of the buildings represents a new interpretation of the characteristic Viennese block perimeter development in the form of a residential cluster in the following areas:

1. Plinth multi-storey car park is composed with storage rooms on the ground floor, 1st and 2nd floor, a residential block on the 1st floor with terraced house and terrace apartments with their own private gardens. It also includes atriums and a multitude of views and vistas.
2. The Long Garden or the "Piano Nobile" - a common "roof garden for all”. Urban garden, green landscape with herbs, beds, playground, and common rooms suitable for all weather conditions and demands, ie. cooking studio, launderette, resident cinema, and roofed terraces with a view of the Danube.
3. Living landscapes with standard floors come with modern living forms for adaptable add-on rooms to meet the changing requirements of use.

Dealing with the Existing Structure

At Handelskai, a new building structure will be added to a large-scale community housing complex, dating from 1977.
The existing view to the north-west, to the Danube and the Danube Island, is to be retained as far as possible to ensure that all apartments are of equal value.

Extension of the Zoning Design

The underlying development design connects residential towers at the lowest and highest points of the existing complex. This will affect some apartments by greatly reducing exposure to light (building law) and view (quality).

This circumstance triggered a logical rethink of the design:

• Each of the seven staircases of the existing building will be preceded by a compact residential building
• All apartments in the existing building will retain their direct view to the Danube
• On the opposing side of the staircase axis, of the existing building, a common vertical development is created, thus emphasizing a spatial relationships between old and new.
• All apartments remain fully exposed to light (according to WBO)
• All residents from the new and existing buildings will have access to the Long Garden - the new common green Danube terrace - the green “Piano Nobile”.
• The common residents alley forms the new central distributor for all residents, while receiving a high quality of stay through the increase in attractiveness of areas such as: seating islands, active fields, play areas, bicycle stands, sports and activity areas, etc.

Architectural Concept

The proposed design, the Long Garden, is articulated by a chain of seven houses of equal standing, which, due to the different design of the upper levels, have their own identity-forming character.
The structure of the existing buildings is adopted, and seven equally proportioned buildings are arranged exclusively on the seven staircases of the existing buildings.

The Residential Street
The arrangement of the building entrances, along the side of the street, create an upgraded counterpart for both buildings, the existing complex and the new residential complex.
All building entrances are reached from the Residential Street, thus forming the tenants' main traffic zone. - A neighbourly meeting point.

Community Housing New - The Viennese Residential Building for the 21st Century
The new interpretation of the Viennese Townhouses, a form of living that is being transferred into the 21st century, correspond to a three-part division:
(1) the plinth, (2) the garden, and (3) the residential landscape.

(1) Terrace Plinth = Residential Plinth
The plinth zone is designed as a terrace plinth and does not exceed the height of the existing multi-storey car park. On the contrary, the private gardens and generous community balconies will be docked along the pergola access, thus massively upgrading the existing residential street.
The apartment types, which are based on terraced house typologies, have all been developed through and through, and can thus offer a continuous panorama, starting from the south with the front garden through the living areas to the loggia in the north-east with a view of the Danube.

(2) The Long Garden - A Catalyst for Spatial Encounters
The longitudinal arrangement of leisure and play areas creates a sequencing of action areas, which can be used by the residents of both the new building and the existing building in different ways.

Community Create Spaces
The roofed communal areas are openly connected to the residential buildings throughout the garden:
Launderette, cooking studio, resident cinema, studio, co-working spaces, children's playrooms, and youth rooms are accessible to all residents in all weather conditions.

(3) The Residential Landscape - Modern Forms of Living for the Viennese
Three elements of communal living: light - air - sun

The concept is based on the principles of the famous Viennese community housing of the interwar period and continues them with three new elements:
floor plan - community - identity

• versatile and adaptable, compact floor plans
• private and generally accessible free spaces through balconies / loggias for each apartment and the long garden as an added value of community life
• unique, appropriate design with the means of expression of the present day

These result in a high quality of living at reasonable prices.

Individual Living
Modern Forms of Living for All Viennese

The individual living units are part of the common, flexible structure, and open for individual adjustments. The apartment types are proposed as a standard system, and allow a high degree of individuality and adaptability through an optional add-on system using an add-on room, add-on staircase and add-on apartment.

Since pluralism, diversity, polychromy and vibrancy have become the key characteristics of urban space, programme diversity and adaptability/flexibility of spaces, they became increasingly important arguments in the choice of working and living space.

The neutral typology and the extensive area on which, at the base, the housing units extend, allow flexibility for the intermediate space and for the organisation of the living space.

The transition, between public and private, is characterised by a gentle spatial separation by means of different greenery. The result is an open communion in neighbourly sociability with a high level of private domestic comfort.

Open Space - Urban Landscape

The green and open spaces of The Long Garden are the communal heart of the residential cluster:

They offer, in different atmospheres, an open play area with play, garden and seating areas; raised beds, pergolas and sundecks; as well as reading areas and common rooms.
The Long Garden and its green space design is reminiscent of the original alluvial forest landscape on the Danube: dynamic vegetation pictures with characteristic plants of the alluvial plain.

The planting offers a landscape rich in colour and contrast in the changing seasons. - An evergreen garden for all residents as a viewing and play area.

© 2023 NMPB Architekten ZTGmbH All rights reserved.