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quadrangle: Project

Design – architecture & urban concept

Team Habitat
Prof. Dr. Carl Pruscha,
Architekt Mag. Franz J. Loranzi
Mag. Julia Nuler
Mag. Andreas Pfusterer

Architecture and Space

A timeless design that is completely independent of all the currently fashionable trends on the outside, but allows for high-quality living on the inside, since the flexible ground plans ensure an adaptable space. Furthermore, while providing compact solutions for concentrated residential housing, the concept also creates high-quality private outdoor space in the form of patios and roof terraces.

Building construction and overall planning

S+B Plan & Bau GmbH
supported by Schertler-Alge GmbH

Supported by
departure – economy, art & culture GmbH


Economic Efficiency

This is provided by extensive utilisation of the urban property and its economical development and infrastructure.
Furthermore, it is ensured by a clear separation of the two parts of the building: the massive L-shaped wall, along with concrete floor slab cast on site, and the installation of a prefabricated timber structure.


Low energy requirements are guaranteed by the optimal orientation of the volume towards the sun, and the use of high-quality building materials. 

Building Construction

The load-bearing construction of the three types of building with courtyard is composed of a massive reinforced L-shaped concrete wall, combined with a wooden construction. Loads that occur are transmitted to the wood beams extending from the ground floor to the roof level.
The wooden beams mounted on the timber frame construction serve to divide the floors and also to support the ceiling elements.
This allows for a flexible and time-saving pre-fabrication of wall and ceiling elements, which also assume the function of horizontal and vertical bracing.
In the selection of materials, special attention is paid to the use of wood as a material, both  for the interior and exterior. The façade on the access side (entrance area) will be made of metal as a fire safety measure.

Energy Concept

The patio house consists of an insulated building envelope composed of wooden elements in optimized low-energy house quality with a two-pane glazing and controlled air ventilation.
Energy is supplied both by using the angular concrete walls and a concrete floor slab as a thermal storage mass, and by a combination of solar panels and a heat pump.
Heat as well as power are supplied by a centrally installed block power plant, set up for the neighbourhood.
The rooms are heated by a wall and floor heating system.
An optimally arranged photo-voltaic system in each house powers the small heat pump and the mechanical ventilation system.

Operating Costs

The thermically optimized building envelope and the use of thermal storage mass ensures generally low energy consumption. Heat and power gained from solar energy and ambient warmth contribute to a further reduction of operating costs.
Nevertheless, a comparison of investment and operating costs has shown that the variant using the decentralized block heating plant is at present the best option both in ecological and economic terms.


Urban Concept

Even if the so-called ‘single-family home’ still finds the greatest acceptance worldwide (at least in developed suburban and decentralized areas), the ‘free-standing individual home’ has proven to be both ecologically and economically disadvantageous, both because of its waste of space and its enormous development costs.
An alternative such as rows of semi-detached houses with lineally connected buildings and gardens only has limited development potential as a self-contained urban model.
As a variation on Adolf Loos’ patented solution of a “house with one wall”, our project features a house with an angled wall, providing space for an L-shaped building and a square inner courtyard measuring 6 x 6 metres.
Since three of the surfaces of the angled wall directly connect the individual houses with the neighboring property, a maximum of living space can be obtained with a minimum property size, in our case a square of 12 x 12 metres. The compact arrangement of a large number of units can produce a living area of urban dimensions.

Developing Prototypes

To this end, three prototypes were developed, all of which feature a mixed construction mode with L-shaped walls in massive construction and a dry wooden construction added for the living spaces. The massive walls not only support the construction as load-bearing elements, but also define the space and serve as a thermal mass. Moreover, they define the urban division of the cluster of residential buildings and therefore express stability and protection.
The wooden construction was selected for various reasons, for example, its clean and simple construction, its high degree of flexibility, and the pleasant spatial and living comfort it affords, as well as for ecological and economic reasons. Spatially, the most significant aspect of the house is its open orientation towards the courtyard. The full-length glazing provides optimum daylight and an unobstructed view of the outside, without compromising the goal of maximum privacy.
The qualities of the design outdoors include an inner courtyard with greenery that cannot be seen from outside the buildings, and roof terraces that can be accessed from the living room or the kitchen area on the same level. In order to provide the users with additional flexible options (storage depot, workshops, fitness rooms, etc.), further spaces were created on the ground-floor level facing the inner courtyard.