Month: September 2014

The Aspern Airport (2)

Diagrams from the presentation report

Diagrams from the presentation report

Chances are some have taken as negative my comments on the Aspern project ; as a matter of fact, comparing it to other suburban model scan seem far from positive, but as I have already said the project seems quite reasonable. All my comments are conditioned by the fact that the area will take to time to be built (first residents should move in around the end of 2014).

The project prioritizes these issues:

  • Whatis presented as a sustainable density. The total scope of the project is 240 hectares, with a built area of 2,2 million sq m, so FAR would be 0,91, quite higher than an usual suburban scheme.
  • Functional diversity, with room for 20.000 residents and 20.000 jobs; the goal of a housing- employment balance, easy to aim at but not that easy to get in a metropolitan area. The project includes ideas about the use of the ground floor, and despite a clear concentration of jobs on the south-eastern part, some degrees of flexibility are included.
  • Spatial diversity, with a proposal marked by a circular avenue with organises a neighbourhood turned towards a lake. The typologies and heights are similar, but the organization of volumes at the architectural scale seems a bit more diverse.

The project could have been based in a regular grid layout, as everything around, to begin with the neighbouring suburbs, called for that. The urban planners (Tovatt, from Sweden) have rather chosen a geometry which, at first glance, seems to stem form an organic genesis, almost a pre-existing plan; this look comes from a transition between the rectangular edges of the site and the circular avenue using not to sharp angles and sometimes curved streets.

The anular avenue may seem at first sight the Vienna Ringstrasse; but in fact it seems quite a departure (more in next posts)

The anular avenue may seem at first sight the Vienna Ringstrasse; but in fact it seems quite a departure (more in next posts)

Biblio (96) The Aspern Airfield


In 1912 the Vienna Airport opens at Aspern; in 1975 car races start, and in 1982 a General Motors Factory opens. As of the end of the 1980s, there are already talks to take the airplanes out, and in 2008 an architectural competition is launched, and won by Tovatt and Associates.

The project is interesting in several senses: it seems quite good in technical terms, but it is, even in a caricature sense, a material translation of the analysis made by David Mangin in “La Ville Franchisée”: a project of a certain density, with limited connections to its surrounding, creating its own ringstrase… A somehow closed world, linked to the motorway and the subway.

A good website with abundant English documents.