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KASTNER & ÖHLER

Graz, Austria 2005-2011

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KASTNER & ÖHLER

Graz, Austria 2005-2011

Modernism opened up many doors, but it also closed other -as it happened with ornamentation, for instanc- which was long disregarded as a source for other possible expressive paths. The roof is one of those architectural elements that in the past have played an essential role in the spatial and urban definition of buildings, and throughout most of the twentieth century modern orthodoxy has reduced it to the almost universal imposition of the horizontal roof. The Corbusian axiom of the flat roof only began to be questioned seriously beginning in the second half of the century, as it happened with some less-common works by architects who, like Kahn or Utzon, would recover the expressive potential of a building’s roof, not only in its formal and volumetric expression, but also as an element that generates space, light, and structure, or, in other words, its own architectural conception. Many historical urban centers have been defined by the silhouette of their roof -roofs, vaults, dome- which stand out amid the buildings and are sometimes only perceptible from distant vantage points. This is the case with the Austrian city of Graz -whose historic center is listed as a heritage site thanks essentially to its harmonious roofscape- where our project for the expansion of a large department store took the interpretation of that reality as its point of departure.
The series of buildings from different periods that was to be expanded offered the chance to intervene in the upper floors, up to now occupied by mechanical elements, storage areas, and services. The surrounding buildings, close to the Schlossberg hill, convey an overall coherent image thanks to their pitched roofs, even though they have different heights. Our expansion project took that same premise as its starting point: the desire to combine the unevenness of the existing constructions with the individual conditions that their use and property required, by means of a new roof generated by a simple geometric law. Geometry has often been considered as limiting the formal freedom of the architect. But in our view, it is quite the opposite, becoming a mechanism that liberates and allows the project to adapt to changing and unforeseeable circumstances. A series of parallel skylights follows the dominant, east-west direction of the city roofs. Each skylight is similar to its adjacent ones: it rises in a sloping plane and is intersected by a glass surface that brings light inside. The height of this element is varied, either adapting to the transition of the roofs of the buildings it extends, or rising above the rest to highlight the voids that traverse the interior space. The interruptions in the folds of the roofs generate terraces that overlook the mountains and the city. At the same time, these echo the meandering sequences of small plazas and courtyards that define the pedestrian itinerary on the lower level. A single material unifies the new expansion toward the exterior: weathered bronze panels that set up a dialogue with the color variations of the roof tiles. Clearly tracing a geometric profile that blends into the city skyline, it also seems to proudly express -paraphrasing a famous modern aphorism- that the roof is the generator.
 
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KASTNER & ÖHLER

Graz, Austria 2005-2011

Location
Graz, Austria
Client
Kastner & Öhler
Architects
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
Program
Roof expansion of existing department store
Total floor area
7.813 m2
Project architect
Dirk Landt
Project team
Ines Bahr, Gesche Böckmann, Udo Brunner,  Michele Görhardt, Joachim Kraft, Sebastián Sasse, Malanie Schneider, Anja Stachelscheid, Nik Wenzke
Structural engineer
GSE Ingenieur - Gesellschaft GmbH
Saar, Enseleit und Partner Wendl, ZT
Robert Wendl , Bernhard Horn
Mechanical engineer
Fischer & Co GmbH
Models
Juan de Dios Hernández - Jesús Rey
Photographs
Aurofoto S.L. (models)
Paul Ott       
Project dates
Competition: 2005
Design: 2009
Completion: 2011 (1st phase)
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KASTNER & ÖHLER

Graz, Austria 2005-2011

Monograph TC CUADERNOS nº 131/132. 2017
Published by General de Ediciones de Arquitectura. Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-947421-4-9 
Page: 154 – 165
 
Magazine AREA nº 135. 2014
Published by New Business Media srl. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 0394-0055
Page: Cover, 116 – 127

Monograph NS. 2014
Fuensanta Nieto Enrique Sobejano Architetture
Published by Electa Architecttura. Milan, Italy
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-88-9180-228-6
Page: 48 – 53

Monograph NIETO SOBEJANO. MEMORY AND INVENTION. 2013
Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. Ostfildern, Germany
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3619-0
Page: 162 – 171

Magazine DB Deutsche Bauzeitung nº 9. 2012
Published by Konradin Medien GmbH. Leinfelden - Echterdingen, Germany
ISSN: 0721-1902
Article: Höchste ambitionen
Author: Karin Tschavgova
Page: 22 – 28

Magazine METAMORFOSE nº 6. 2010
Published by Konradin Medien GmbH. Leinfelden - Echterdingen, Germany
ISSN: 1868-4114
Page: 47

Magazine DETAIL nº 11. 2009
Published by Institut für internationale Architektu - Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Munich, Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Article: Reading the existing frabric                                                                                                                   Author: Enrique Sobejano, Fuensanta Nieto
Page: 1148 – 1149    
                                                                                                                                                                                   
Book 10 X 10/3. 100 ARCHITECTS 10 CRITICS. 2009
Published by Phaidon Press Limited. London, UK
ISBN: 9780714849539
Page: 259

Magazine A10 nº 22. 2008
Published by Boom Tijdschriften. Amsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-3815
Article: Spanish architects Nieto Sobejano’s original design for radical intervention in an historical roofscape ran foul of UNESCO
Author: Anne Isopp
Page: 18

Catalogue Exhibition LIVRE CIRCULAÇAO TOLL FREE. 2007
ARQUITECTOS EUROPEUS EM TRANSITO EUROPEAN ARCHITECTS IN TRANSIT
Published by Museo de Arte Contermporáneo de Serralves. Oporto, Portugal
ISBN: 978-972-739-182-0
Page: 126 – 127

Catalogue ALLGARVE. 2007
Exhibition Livre Circulaçao / Toll Free! Arquitectos Éuropeus em tràsito
Published by Turismo de Portugal, i.p. Lisboa, Portugal
Page: 17

Magazine FUTURE ARQUITECTURAS nº 6. 2007
Published by Future Arquitecturas, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1885-8228
Page: 91

Magazine AV PROYECTOS nº 014. 2006
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1697-493X
Page: 26 – 27

Magazine ARQUITECTURA COAM nº 343. 2006
Published by Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. Spain
ISSN: 0004-2706
Article: Entre la lógica y la intuición: La arquitectura reciente de Fuensanta Nieto y Enrique Sobejano
Author: William J.R. Curtis
Page: 23 – 25

Newspaper DERSTANDARD. 17/18.12.2005
Article: Wagnis ubre den Dächern
Author: Walter Müller

Newspaper KLEINE ZEITUNG. 16.12.2005
Article: Gewagtes Dach ubre Graz
Author: Bernd Hecke und Michael Saria
Page: 16 – 17

Newspaper PRESSE. 16.12.2005
Article: Sensible Lösung für Dachausbau von K&Ö
Author: Lei
Page: 14
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KASTNER & ÖHLER

Graz, Austria 2005-2011