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Spittelau

Neutral, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)

Polygonal buildings on the waterfront.


Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project is a landmark project by Zaha Hadid Architects, completed as part of a waterside revitalization project. The project includes a three-part structure, comprising apartments, offices and artists’ studios, woven through, around and over the arched bays of a disused railway viaduct.

For Neutral, the studio founded by Tapio Snellman and Christian Grou that collaborated for a long time with Zaha Hadid, establish a common language and aesthetic, the Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project is a first example of a projection mapping project for the Venice Architecture Biennale. As Grou and Snellman said "Zaha Hadid Architects was presenting a housing project in Vienna, along the Danube. Neutral’s depiction remained abstract, but emphasized the linear nature of the entire complex by using almost exclusively camera movement following the direction and the flow of the Danube."

Spittelau was conceived as part of an initiative undertaken by the City of Vienna to revitalize the Wiener Guertel, a neglected urban hinterland: here Zaha Hadid designed and constructed the Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project. The area is a crucial point where several significant infrastructural elements overlap: the 'Spittelauer Laende', one of Vienna's most important roadways; the Danube Canal, connecting Germany to Hungary, a busy bike path and an unused railway viaduct constructed by Otto Wagner in the 19th century.

ZHA created a three-part structure, containing apartments, offices and artists' studios, which effectively weaves like a ribbon through, around and over the arched bays of the disused railway viaduct, which is a protected structure. The new buildings interact with the viaduct in a deliberately playful manner, generating many different exteriors and interior spaces and vistas – their impact heightened by the surrounding infrastructure.

Neutral's video shows the project both from above and from the ground up, casting a light on the unusual forms, the trapezoidal and polygonal, complementary and abstract buildings, creating a stark and strong contrast with the landscape, which is completely abstract and removed, to put all the emphasis on the project itself. With no sound and a short duration, the video is created with an exhibition purpose in mind.

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Mentioned projects: Spittelau Viaducts Housing Project (1996-2006)
Project location: Wien, Austria
Concept, Direction, Production, Edit, Sound: Neutral

United Kingdom 2000
Duration: 0'48"