Town Hall Quarter Hohenems
For decades, the urban centre of Hohenems was characterised by vacancy and decay, but in recent years has developed into a small town with remarkable qualities thanks to targeted restructuring and redevelopment of individual properties. Contrary to the usual tendencies in other towns to hand over political responsibility to investors and to carry out supposed revitalisation through new large-scale structures, alternative strategies are being successfully pursued in Hohenems. The inner city is a patchwork where large buildings seemingly have no place: it has a human scale, many identities, owner-managed structures, personal, positive, and cheerful, varied, things to look after that have value, quality material, history and contemporaneity, and a mixture, plurality and diversity, interesting from many different perspectives, and a leisurely pace. This quality springs from the sequences in the public space, the different ensembles, their interconnectedness, characteristic landmarks with recognition value, unique moments, junctions with decision-making situations and different atmospheres in a relatively small space. The area around Villa Rosenthal, defined by the villa and the parkland with trees, is to be further developed as an inner-city zone. The extraordinary position of this former post office building, which was successively extended into a villa, defines both: gateway and link to Marktgasse and/or Harrachgasse, a unique urban situation. At this point, all themes relevant to the city and urban development come together, this point should mark a threshold, adopting the site-specific themes and conditions and reinterpret them with permeability, passageways, the elements of courtyard, square and path, with the tree population, with a new ensemble and a mixture of living, working and lingering, with a lively mixture of different types of life and lifestyles. In many attempts to think about the future of the place, to build its future, to recognise its very specific characteristics, to name them, to take them in and let them work, we have developed a feeling for this place and for life in Hohenems. Based on this feeling, we see the future of this area not as an exclusive residential zone in a parkland setting, but rather as a new urban ensemble for everyone. The starting point for the development of this new ensemble is the listed Villa Rosenthal. The will and the search for different atmospheres and types of courtyard identities that can be experienced throughout leads us to differentiated typologies that create a transition between the different building structures and ensembles of the historic urban body and a new denser development along Diepoldsauerstrasse with a discreet high point at the street intersection.
Developed in a colloborative planning process with Bernardo Bader, Hermann Kaufmann and Ernst Waibel.
Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Tobias Schnell, Gregor Benz, Stefan Prattes.
Realization: Building A1 Town Hall Berktold Weber (Competition), Buildings A2 and A3 CN, Buildings B1 and B2 Hermann Kaufmann, Building C1 Villa Ernst Waibel.
Project Team: Roland Gmeiner [PL], Gregor Benz, Nico Rauchenwald, Gauthier Jonville, Michael Abt, Romina Züst, Anja Berlinger, Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm.
Client: Villa Rosenthal GmbH Schwarzach
Visualisations: Hof 437 for ARGE Schadenbauer – Swiss Town Consult
Concept 2019, Construction 2022-2025