Reminiscent of a supersized, three-dimensional chessboard, this eye-catching five-storey office building has been completed by the Austrian practice Atelier Thomas Pucher in collaboration with Bramberger architects. Realised in 2010 to house offices of a branding agency, the €1-million development is located in Austria’s second largest city of Graz, on the banks of the river Mur.
Building’s characteristic façade is composed of alternating dark and light squares made of reflective glass or covered with a silver-gold resplendent cover coating with the closed facade components serving as ‘variable thick blocks’ which can be utilised to ‘accommodate shelves and archives’ within the office’s interior.
More about the projects:
‘Our building stands on a property, which was initially a boathouse at the river` Mur´ (back then an unregulated river course ) four centuries ago. Later a doubled story storage shed was built and even later -in the 80’s the entire area was rebuilt to an underground parking. The storage shed was discontinued, however the property remained in its exact size and position. In order to make a subsequent building possible the construction of the garage within the range of property was laid out for a double story land development in a solid construction.’
‘Today our building stands on the property – and fills it perfectly to the last millimeter, the number of floors increased by 2,5 times. This became possible by creating a consistent lightweight construction with a complex rust distributor under the building. This distributes – today invisible – the concentrated loads of steel frame bearings which support the underground parking and which are distributed differently on the area.’
‘The clear volume and elegant development reacts precisely to the heterogeneous situation concerning city planning which we came across. On the one side – towards Entenplatz- the house becomes a boundary of space, on the other side – towards Nikolaiplatz – depicts a free standing aesthetic solitaire. A building, which becomes a sculpture through its simplicity.’