Hot Flat Apartment, Vienna

Related person
Coop Himmelblau (architect)
"A key feature here was the "Hot Flat" residential project study, conceived in 1978/1979 and ready for building. The block of flats, intended to provide five to ten units, was our of place to the extent of negating any urban context: it was intended to be built on the Hoher Markt, in other words right in Vienna's historic centre, to replace a multi-storey car-park by Karl Schwanzer dating from 1958. In principle the site was pure provocation, as strategically the building could have been placed anywhere else at all as an attack on the myth of the mature city. Additionally, this block of flats was a rough shell in the best sense of the words without any interior decoration of furnishings at all, with the exception of built-in video and stereo equipment. The intention was to leave the old car lift in the core of the building when the conversion work was complete, which would have made it possible for residents to park their beloved cars outside their flats, on the balconies of the individual stories storeys. But the most striking feature of Hot Flat was the pier-like structure of the communal group space, which drilled diagonally through the complex at a precarious height and at night would have thrown gigantic flames, fed from countless gas jets- into the night sky of Vienna. The strategy was obvious: defeating cold, urban, architecture by emphasizing coldness and roughness and at the same time reinterpreting them as a poetically desolate time-signal, free of any contextuality, but deliberately intended to include ice and fire, the symbols of life." -- Werner, F. 2000. Covering+Exposing: The Architecture of Coop Himmel[l]au. p. 12 Keywords: Austria, Wien, decons, deconstructivist, residential structures, housing. Submitted by Coop Himmelblau for the 2005 Spring Knowlton School of Architecture Lecture Series.