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Lehrveranstaltungen für Architekturstudierende

Design Studio Regeneration of Spaces - Spaces of Regeneration


This design studio is collaborating with EMAN (European Migration Architecture Network) with participants from TU Wien, TU Dresden, University of Malta and the University of Sassari.
Regeneration means the regrowth of a damaged or missing part from the remaining matter to restore a full function of the system.
An open and inclusive (urban) society is based on its ability to regenerate. Regeneration is defined by a constant development and realignment of society, the city as a system, the individual neighbourhoods; within and to each other, as well as the individual free space of each person. However, the city as a system leaves few possibilities for the open definition of spaces due to an almost complete occupation of areas with function and use. This existing deficiency in the social and spatial fabric of urban society is to be repaired through the regeneration of vacant, unclaimed space in urban/suburban areas. Architecture serves as a means of regenerating both communities and the built environment. At the same time, it is supposed to be a place of retreat and refuge as well as a means of upgrading and development.

Project Description

As long as people have been living in cities, there has also been an urge to escape from them, at least temporarily. Whether for recreation or for reasons of safety in times of pandemics - the country retreat or secondary residence has a long history.Examples range from allotment gardens within the city to bathing huts in the suburbs, caravans and mobile homes on camping places to minimal houses or even fancy country estates that provide a place of escape, seclusion and regeneration.During the current pandemic, this trend has been further accelerated with people trying to flee the enforced confinement of the city to greener and less densely populated areas (peri-urbanization). Both principal and secondary residences in suburban or country areas have seen a surge in demand. As distance learning and home office increase, the importance of the quality of living space dominates the necessity of physical closeness to offices or schools.
However, an unmediated urban sprawl creates long-term problems, which can be observed e.g., in popular vacation areas, where the number of secondary homes (e.g. chalets) often surpasses the number of actual inhabitants by far and small cities become ghost towns during off-season.
In our design studio we will examine the potential of minimal residences for both recreation and escape and strive for a sustainable answer to the growing demand for temporary housing in both (sub-)urban and country scenarios. The goal is to find a solution that fulfils not only the basic needs of accommodation but provides also a sense of relaxation and recovery to the residents.
While regeneration is crucial to the users, it is equally important with regard to the placing of the projects. The challenge lies in innovative and ¬creative ideas for the use of otherwise neglected or second-best plots, e.g. suburban areas or former industrial land. By providing a concept for an eco-friendly and reusable infrastructure in combination with temporary housing, the further increase of real estate speculation should be reduced and a sustainable land use policy promoted.

Design Task

There are many possible sites for our project close to Vienna but we were looking for a plot of land which can be easily reached by public transport. Therefore, we have identified the so called "Lagerwiese, Wolfersberg" as our target area: https://goo.gl/maps/n7G185GFHda9krfv8

As you can see in the Google Earth screenshot below, the Lagerwiese is located on a hilltop surrounded by small garden allotments (Kleingartenverein Am Wolfersberg https://kgv-wolfersberg.at/ ). When visiting the site, you should take a walk through the neighbouring garden allotments to get an impression of the current situation of these rather unregulated settlements with its pros and cons. The original idea of these "Kleingärten" was not to provide permanent residential space - however, today you will observe many dwellings which have been newly built or adapted for permanent use. This can be problematic as the Viennese building code does not fully apply for Kleingarten-estates.


Image Source: Goolge Earth

In our design studio we want to take a different approach by designing "Tiny Houses" which can be transported by trucks. This allows a temporary setup in areas which are usually not dedicated as land for building. Participants of this design studio will start by designing an individual tiny house which should subsequently be part of a larger settlement consisting of many similar modules.
The user group ranges from individuals up to small families - therefore, the interior must be flexible to accommodate the different needs. An attractive architectural design allows a multitude of use cases (recreation homes, workplaces or even emergency accommodation) and will increase the acceptance by the neighbouring communities. The temporality is an integral requirement to allow the regeneration of space after the units get moved to some other site.

One of many examples is the KODA house from the Estonian company Kosasema which is well documented in several publications:


Image source: https://www.detail.de/artikel/25-quadratmeter-unabhaengigkeit-minimalhaus-koda-von-kodasema-28997/

The Japanese Muji hut is another example which shows the multitude of possibilities:


Image Source: https://www.detail-online.com/blog-article/the-emptiness-of-the-cabin-muji-hut-33724 

By browsing the web you will find many more interesting examples which provide inspirations for your project. That doesn't mean that you should copy existing designs - instead gather ideas and find your own way.

Required performance:

  • The units should fit on a standard flat-bed truck and have to be assembled quickly on site;
  • Use materials with high sustainability which satisfy local standards regarding insulation;
  • Accommodation of 1-4 persons; small kitchen; small bathroom with a toilet;
  • Possible sites will provide water, electricity and sewerage - additional power supply by solar panels may be beneficial.


  • 04.03.2021, 1:30pm Introductory lecture, discussion of assignment, Q&A (compulsory attendance!)
  • 11.03.2021, 1:30pm Concept presentation (compulsory attendance!)
  • 18.03.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 25.03.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 15.04.2021, 1:30pm Intermediate Presentation (compulsory attendance!)
  • 22.04.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 29.04.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 06.05.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 20.05.2021, 1:30pm Consultation
  • 27.05.2019, 1:30pm Final Presentation (compulsory attendance!)

Requirements and ground rules:

  • Registration: Registration to this course only via the faculty's Pool Application system. We do not accept any other applications via email, phone or personally! 
  • Compulsory attendance: To pass the design studios, personal attendance is necessary at intermediate presentations, final presentation and at 50% of the regular consultations. Participants who do not fulfill the required attendance will automatically receive a negative evaluation without any exceptions. The reason for absence (illness etc.) is not relevant.
  • Always be on time: Always be on time and pay attention to the consultations of other projects. This saves your and our time as we don't have to explain the same issues and have more capacity for individual topics.
  • Language of tuition: International students are welcome! We will try to communicate most information in English. However, some documents may be available in German only - we will help you to translate the most important information in English upon request.
  • All participants must have good English proficiency and the final presentation (plans, project description) will be in English.

Required skills:

  • Design Competence: Aesthetic skills are basic requirements 
  • Construction and physics: No need to be an expert but a realistic, feasible and sustainable solution must be provided
  • CAD and 3D Design: Accurate 2D CAD planning is required. Some 3D design skills are necessary to create visualizations as a supplement for a physical model.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Design quality
  • Functional and structural solution
  • Quality of the model (real or virtual)
  • Presentation skills