ICONIC AWARDS 2019: BEHF wins twice

BEHF Architects has been awarded the ICONIC AWARDS 2019: Innovative Architecture – Winner in the category Architecture for the projects KOLLER + KOLLER AM WAAGPLATZ Restaurant and Residential Complex KORB ETAGEN, Brandstätte 7 (BEHF Architects and MITTERMAIR Architekten).

ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Architecture, established by the German Design Council, is the first independent international architecture and design competition to take into account the interplay between the various disciplines. Awards are given to visionary buildings, innovative products and sustainable communication in all sectors of architecture, the construction and real estate business and the manufacturing industries.

Hans Berger (Project Management, BEHF Architects), Franz Gruber (Board Member, BEHF Architects) and Stephan Ferenczy (BEHF Architects Co-Founder) at the ICONIC AWARDS Ceremony in Munich   © Lutz Sternstein

ICONIC AWARDS 2019: Innovative Architecture – Winner: KOLLER + KOLLER AM WAAGPLATZ Restaurant

After undergoing a significant six-month-renovation, Koller + Koller am Waagplatz has opened its doors with a brand new look. BEHF Architects has envisioned a design strategy which brings in the 21st-century to the interior’s aesthetic, giving it a refreshing and contemporary update, and at the same time highlights the historic characteristics of the city’s iconic building from the 12th century.

As part of the redesign, an entrance, dining areas and sanitary facilities located on the ground floor have been renovated. An unused second entrance has been re-opened in order to provide separate, direct access to the upper levels as well as to the Freysauff cellar, which has remained essentially unchanged since its construction.

© Rupert Steiner

BEHF’s design concept for Koller + Koller am Waagplatz is characterised by a variety of materials and a lively, skilled craftsmanship from Salzburg, Styria and Lower Austria, incorporating metalworks and the use of high quality marble varieties and refined wooden components in traditional ways.

The entire vaulted ceiling of the ground floor is covered with brass mosaic tiles. In order to protect the existing baroque ceiling, the new mosaic ceiling has been installed on a light substructure. The structure is designed in such a way that it optimises the acoustic qualities of the space. The walls of the restaurant are covered by continuous wood veneer, which extends up from the dark walnut wood veneer to the tinted mirror glass and lighter oak veneer, fitting under the peak of the vaulted ceiling.

An existing floor made of Adnet marble has been carefully renovated and preserved. In the main dining room, it is completed by a sophisticated yet playful marble-terrazzo flooring in the same colour, with a distinctive, elegant patterning.

© Michael Nagl

ICONIC AWARDS 2019: Innovative Architecture – Winner: Residential Complex KORB ETAGEN, Brandstätte 7

In the heart of the historic centre of Vienna, only a few minutes walk from St. Stephen’s Cathedral, BEHF Architects and MITTERMAIR Architekten have converted the former office premises of Erste Bank situated above the legendary Café Korb into 69 inviting apartments on about 12,000 square metres.

The Korb Etagen complex was built between 1902 and 1904. In June 2018, the architects completed the conversion of the six-storey building based on the style of the 1960s, when the entire property was renovated. The design strategy was to revamp the building true to its original and adjust it to modern standards of energy efficiency.

© Bruno Klomfar

In the interior, unique parts of the original design such as a marble clad staircase with its 1960s handrail made of gold-coloured cast aluminium were carefully refurbished. It is now possible to experience the elegant charm of the 1960s in these areas. To return it to its former glory, the architects rejuvenated the ground floor natural stone-clad facade. Above, the striking facade featuring a mosaic work made up of small pieces of stone was extended. The regular window openings were developed as “French windows” and extended down to the ground. The three existing building units were merged under a single roof into a new structure to create a desired harmony between old and new buildings in the urban fabric. The architects developed balconies and terraces oriented towards the courtyard. The top floor apartments were enriched with dormers in a pearl gold colour.

The careful modernisation injected new life into Vienna’s historic complex. Reviving the charm of tradition that can now be felt inside these walls, the architects intensified the authenticity of the building and created a new presence of this historic structure in a dynamic neighbourhood.

© Bruno Klomfar

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