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Residence of the Norwegian Ambassador in Vienna
Reconstruction and extension of a Jugendstilvilla
Vienna, Austria 2004 - 2007
Client: Statsbygg, Norway
GFA: 750 m2
The radically new design for the extension to the historic residence starts from the analysis and precise understanding of the initial architecture of the villa from 1923 and its deficiencies in terms of contemporary living. Since the original elegance of the façades had vanished through various clumsy alterations in the past, the project started with a critical rebuilding and renovation based on the original plans found in the archives.

In this situation the design for the extension with its dining room for 20 guests could be developed in dialogue with the spirit of the “Jugendstil”, following ideas of biomorphic structures.

Especially the lacking connection between the reception rooms in the elevated main floor and the garden was disturbing.

The extension solves this deficiency with a new staircase leading to the garden level and a new dining room that opens wide with a glazed façade to terraces and garden. To the west, a set of light wall and roof elements form a shelter, but still allowing the evening sun to draw long light lines on the floor. The clear ash wood surfaces of the interior underline the lightness of the space, complemented by the copper cladding outside. The limits of the space seem to blur with the nature around. This breakup of the limits between inside and outside is especially impressing in the staircase. Glass and mirrors on walls and ceiling make it difficult to differentiate the exact borders between image and reality.