BEHF Architects has received five prestigious architecture awards for the Telegraf 7 project, a former telephone exchange of the K. u. K. Post- und Telegrafendirektion (postal and telegraphic administration) in Vienna:
The “best architects 18 Award” in the category “Interior Design”, the Iconic Award 2017 in the “Architecture” category, the German Design Award 2018 in the “Architecture” category, and two additional awards in the categories “Architectural Design / Heritage Architecture” and “Restoration & Renovation”.
Not only had the integral design of the listed building, which BEHF created in cooperation with the client JP Immobilien, made an excellent impression on the jury—the jurors were also convinced by their outstanding architectural achievements.
"It was our aim to connect the two historical halls and to create offices with highly modern infrastructure in the middle of the existing historical environment. The awards confirm that we were more successful than expected,” says Daniel Jelitzka, founding partner and managing director at JP Immobilien a Viennese real estate group.
Armin Ebner of BEHF Architects describes the concept: „The room itself is already a great experience due to its impressive height, ceiling frescoes, and pilasters,” he says. “An additional highlight are two office areas that seem to be removed, appearing almost spherical. It is the contrast which makes the appearance and atmosphere so special.”
The architectural centre is an elaborate room-in-room construction with two minimalistic “boxes” that seem to be completely detached from the existing historical inventory: Opulent telegraph halls featuring stucco restored true to the original, and colourful wall paintings. As a result, the historical fabric remains unaffected and finally becomes visible after years of being hidden from the public. There are office spaces and conference rooms, as well as an area on the indoor roof which is intended for events.
The idea of connecting the building’s historical substance with modern components is already achieved in the entrance area of Telegraf 7, where minimalistic and historical elements are combined. While the original concrete steps were uncovered and refurbished, the architects chose a light-coloured terrazzo flooring harmonising perfectly with the richly ornamented wrought-iron banister with a wooden handrail. On the other hand, you reach the individual office units and lifts by going through doors featuring an extremely linear design combined with the brass coating’s warm surface.