Vienna, Austria


Multi-Family Housing


6,500 square meters



The project proposes a total of 70 housing units in two buildings on two sites. The project begins with a strategy that associates the architect’s concept of Chinese calligraphy with the design of two Vienna housing blocks. The architectural calligraphy correlates a conceptual-pictorial language with an invented form-language for the design of buildings. Just as the combining of calligraphy symbols results in pictographic written concepts, the combining of the building “calligs” coalesce in a sequence of concept/forms that organize the design of the project. The architectural calligraphy choreographs the buildings, the individual units, and the inter-relationship of one site to another.

The Calligs:

Sandpiper: A bird that inhabits the transitory seashore zone between water and land. The sandpiper callig is an analogue for the shifting design concepts that govern the project.

Ricochet: A strategy of lines that influence the organization and design of both vertical volumes and horizontal surfaces.

Move: A curving, horizontal line that rises and falls in section connecting critical destination points on all sites.

Horticulture: A theoretical enclosure that protects the existing trees on the first site, and contributes to the organization of the interior courtyard / garden on both sides.

How High: A concept for a theoretical roof that would cover the entire site; the roof form is premised on, but not identical to, the height limits for the site.

Idio-Descartes: An order of points following the Move curve and the two site center lines that assist in the determination of the position of columns, beams, and walls in both buildings.

Another Brick in the Wall: A mechanism for positioning units in section and elevation in each building block. The units are conceived as adjoining, irregular bricks in a wall.

Bubblegum: An analogue image representing the joining of disparate pieces of buildings by “sticking” them together.