The City by the River (1200)
IKA, ADP, Michael Hansmeyer
Winter Term 2016/2016
Since the very beginning of their history, men erected their cities on strategically interesting spots as hill tops from which one could observe the approaching enemy or rivers furnishing the vital resource of water and serving above that as main transport and therefore trade routes in pre-industrial times.
The river as tool for physical separation
The motive of “The city on the river” developed over the times but it was always closely linked to power and authority of the ruling forces. This is illustrated very well by the fact that a majority of countries frontiers are defined by water courses as the difference between north and south is still drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Viennas first district was actually erected on the debris of the former roman military camp settled in the first century in order to ensure the protection of the province Pannonien (today western Hungary).
“The city on the river” is a tower to the public - a new gate to the city on the Danube. This portal is absolved from its function as defining an inside and an outside. There is actually no separating element.
The ensemble on Brigittenauer Sporn is much more standing as a monument on the internal border between the states of Vienna and Lower Austria. As a collage, the structure is asking, from the more solid agglomeration on its basis up to the fragile top the self referential question of the image of the city. Therefore, the design plays with the abstract repertoire of motifs, difficult to locate in a specific cultural circle- the city on the river oscillates between the gabled roof, the cupola with columned hall and the palazzo.
The monument is a new tower for Vienna. With its 200 meters of height it can easily compete with neighboring DC and Millennium towers - considering the program it fundamentally distinguishes: The public space furnishes bathing platforms on its basis and develops over a vertical boulevard and viewing platforms up to its crown, only accessible to birds. Like that, the “City on the river” is next to the natural topographic elevation of the Kahlenberg a human made public access to the sky.
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