Austria’s First Innovative Community Building Project for Cost-Effective Housing
“Being Young“ is a state of mind. In a world of widely diversified lifestyles and needs, the ideas of youthfulness, being young or living young no longer fall into strict, formal definitions. “Being Young” is not about age, but about attitude, zest for life and tolerance.
“Young Living” is not a young-ghetto or a fun student dorm, but a youthful generation of tenants of varied ages and professions living “at its best” in a lively residential quarter. The individualisation of multi-option society results in a variety of needs in each stage of life, and thus requires a robust, tailored and flexible planning for living, leisure, work, consumption and community.
In the heart of the second district of Vienna, BEHF Architects has provided the first Austrian innovative co-housing project CITYCOM2, designed to offer residents numerous amenities and interesting spaces, as well as to support different lifestyles in a built-in network.
CITYCOM2 follows in a long tradition of communal housing in Vienna. The Gemeindebauten of the 1920s provided communal spaces for their residents. However, the living space itself was reserved for the nuclear family. CITYCOM2 serves as a prototype for social integration in an aging and increasingly diverse society.
The complex comprises two “RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS” with 98 apartment units with rather traditional layouts, appealing mainly to young families looking for a first home, but also to young professionals who have established themselves and want to settle down in their own home. A total of 42 apartments at a “YOUNG COMMUNITY” building are designed as shared flats. These flats are reserved for young and free spirited people who are not only looking for affordable housing, but foster unity as well. At the same time, they are available to elderly people who do not want to live alone or face the monotony of a geriatric home. Ideal for those who want to connect with like-minded people, and who value living together and want to be part of a community which enables mutual support in everyday life.
The complex is characterised by a perforated facade, and impresses with aesthetic and functional clarity. On the exterior, the buildings are further defined by a robust and simple, yet powerful appearance. The materials used are solid and durable. The design focuses on materiality and surfaces, rather than colours or cladding.
CITYCOM2 is deeply embedded in the green landscape, flowing smoothly into the neighbourhood. The project abounds with open spaces in form of loggias, made of exposed concrete with pre-cast reinforced concrete elements.