For every business, the new build of a company headquarter is a forward striving action, and thus, also the new ÖWG/ÖWGes office building, became an architectonic contribution to the urban room of Graz. In essence, it’s about expressing presence and future-orientated ambition both externally and among the employed staff, the building should communicate that new approaches are being made.
As stated in the project brief, two separate structural units were accomplished and connected through a transparent link. The main building, functioning as customer centre, is located towards Moserhofgasse, whereas the office building is situated in the quiet, green garden area.
Customer centre: The customer centre, which is adjoining Moserhofgasse, states an architectonic representation of the company establishment. Naturally, the areas in which customer contact is pursued are of great importance to existing and potential clients. In conjunction with the multifunction room, located on the lower floor, an information- and exhibition space was created which could potentially also be utilised externally, -for instance be rented out.
The multifunction room is located in the lower floor as opposed to the top floor. The advantage of this solution is based on the fact that the entrance area is a three storey high space, visible from Moserhofgasse. The multifunction room is connected to this generous space as well as an outdoor light well courtyard, and is consequently naturally lit and ventilated by the open space. This way the customer centre becomes an interesting, clearly arranged, central area in terms of space.
This generous three storey high open hall represents quality-orientated competence, and acts as a gesture of welcoming for everyone; -clients, staff and passers-by.
Office building: The office building meets and represents the present contemporary office standards while simultaneously establishing a working environment which supports and facilitates the achievements of tasks and goals.
The main entrance is centrally located in the middle of the office building. All office spaces are flexible and can be adjusted to suit the requirements of the user. These are requests which are necessary for contemporary office spaces and that have already been realised with great success in previous reference projects.
In the area of the stairwell and lift, meeting points have been implemented. These are not only essential for the communication between employees, but also contribute to broadening of the corridor, enabling views to the outside. Furthermore, this area has been equipped with a minor coffee kitchen and supply units.
Above the two storey office building a roof terrace is located, which is available to all employees.
Basement and underground parking: As planned, a two storey under ground parking was built, which is accessed from the west. The access is enclosed to eliminate disturbance of neighbours, and the access ramp itself is structurally interlocked with the neighbouring building.
Technical- storage- and archive facilities are located in the first basement floor, in connection to the circulation space.
Landscape planning: The landscape has to the greatest extent been left remaining, and particularly on the west side where it expresses a statement of a consistent “green theme”. The landscape on the east side has been treated in a way that allows parking spaces, delivery area and fire brigade access to be arranged effortlessly.
The headquarters of ÖWGes housing association has integrated with the existing settlement structure of Moserhofgasse, while still expressing independence, and through clear structure, transparency and quality it conveys the competence of the organisation to its clients and business partners.