The first plot we selected according to our research criteria (available infrastructure, etc.) is one of a number of brownfield plots that were discovered on walks around the fringe areas of Graz. It is located in the District of Gries directly next to the ramp of the centrally located Citypark shopping centre on Lazarettgürtel ring road. It is an oblong plot that is accessed via a driveway through the rear courtyard of a Gründerzeit perimeter block development on Fabriksgasse. At the moment, it is used as a carpark, mainly by the neighbouring bakery. On its western boundary, a fence alongside the access road via Fabriksgasse currently separates the plot from the grounds of Citypark shopping centre.
selected plot Citypark Fabriksgasse
Sealed surface | land-use classified as core zone KG+WA + general residential area | building density 0.8-2.0 | size of plot 4393 m² + 758 m² | plot no. 1398/2, 1411 | cadastral community no. 63105 | registry no. 1096, 727 | District of Gries | plot classified as sealed (asphalt, gravel) | protection zone no, urban redevelopment area | plot prices 150-270€/m² and residential rents 8.00-10.80 €/m²
From an urbanistic point of view, the plot is situated at the interface between historically developed village structures (Karlauerplatz), where in the 19th century commercial and industrial businesses first settled along the Mühlgang mill stream, a residential area largely consists of single-family homes and residential blocks (dormitory town) as well as modern commercial buildings and a shopping centre chiefly designed for vehicle traffic (car-friendly city). The area has access to public transport (bus) connecting it to the inner city of Graz. In terms of urban planning, the principle of the functional city through the functional separation of dwelling and working quarters has been implemented on a small scale (Athens Charter 1933, German translation 1962).
“Supreme plot in the immediate vicinity of Citypark shopping centre. Situated in a romantic industrial atmosphere, this plot offers plenty of room to make your housing or office dreams come true.”
Low village-like commercial and residential buildings are confronted with an urban density of tower blocks (vertical city) and an over-dimensioned conglomerate of shopping centre buildings.
Based upon the Learning from Las Vegas study (1968) by Venturi/Scott Brown/Izenour, we investigate the question of what can be learned from a seemingly unplanned place in a peri-urban context. Despite the fact that the shopping centre with its multi-storey carpark and the neighbouring petrol station are obviously oriented towards (transregional) vehicle traffic, the whole area was explored on foot. As a first step, therefore, details that did not seem important at first sight were photographed in the course of our field research and freely categorised according to Venturi/Scott Brown/Izenour.
Hilpert, Thilo (Hg.) (1988): Le Corbusiers “Charta von Athen” Texte und Dokumente. Kritische Neuausgabe. Bauwelt Fundamente 56. 2. Aufl. Viewg & Sohn. Braunschweig / Wiesbaden.
Izenour, S., Venturi, R. Scott Brown, D. (2001). Lernen von Las Vegas : Zur Ikonographie und Architektursymbolik der Geschäftsstadt (2. Aufl., 1., unveränd. Nachdr. ed.). Basel [u.a.]: Birkhäuser.