Lux is part of the award-winning public-housing development in the southern periphery of Vienna known as “Kabelwerk” (see description of project “Poolhaus”). The housing complex is one of three houses that we designed at “Kabelwerk” and is situated in the sensitive southern part of the premises, along the ascending main street – the “Transversale”. Lux marks the edge of the development along this public street towards a typical sprawl-like quarter in the west, thus needing not only to link the existing sub-urban development with the new quarter, but also to resolve a significant height-fissure on the site.
Our approach was to take up the given situation and use it as an opportunity for the design of the housing complex: Secondary functions with possibly public or half-public activities, like the foyer, community facilities, but also storage-rooms belonging to the apartments, bicycle storage and a shop are placed along the “Transversale”, levelling out the height fissure, creating a 50 meter long, extended multifunctional public space, that flows into the building, opening up the complex towards the existing neighbours.
Seen from a distance, Lux is a medium-sized, modest crystal, that is grey at the outside and shimmering green in the inside, facing, with its quiet façade, the neighbouring detached houses. The apartments on the ground floor are accessed by their front gardens on the east side of the housing complex, the flats on the first floor get connected by a naturally exposed, spacious corridor, and the maisonettes occupying second and third floor are accessible via terraces facing west.
The inner organization of the building and the layout of the apartments, as well as its explicitly modest appearance, create a highly compact building-complex that is able to mediate between the new development of Kabelwerk and the existing typologies without chumming up. The result thus is not only an ecologically but also a socially sustainable building.