I have worked 16 years in real estate development in Austria and produced lots of nice projects, I have created one building though I like best, which I'd love to present here.
Why is it my favorite? Because I did the project from the very beginning to the very end all by myself without my customer restricting the creative process.
I did the project for a man, whom I knew from one of my other developments and who was determined to have his house designed by me. He had a very clear idea as to where in Vienna he wished to live, only in Vienna’s best areas of course - finding an opportunity to buy and build something in these districts was almost impossible or horrendously expensive. After we had agreed in working together I started to drive around Vienna’s best areas, checking out all possible lots and buildings, followed by long hours studying cadastral maps and finding owners.
It was my aim to find a house below permitted building hight that would allow extension in accordance to the Viennese building code. After a few months I was finally ready to approach land owners to check if they would sell - hours of calling people who were not willing to sell, hours of rejection and frustration, until I found the one - I talked to a lady, who said she may give it a thought - I do not need to mention that I visited her the very next day to talk to her in person. After only a few meetings her and husband agreed to sell the second floor and attic incl. roof (and all attached rights) of their house, built around 1900, an estate in a very quite road with a huge garden in the back, to my customer.
After weeks of negotiations together with my customer we were finally able to put everything in writing - my customer was able to buy the described part of the house.
I finally started to design his new house, which was a lot of fun :-)
After he agreed to his new apartment’s design I obtained all needed permissions and started to draft all technical descriptions necessary to find contractors and have the house built for the best price possible.
Very long story short, we started the building and finished about 18 months later - the whole project took me a little bit over 2 years.
I took the old house, from which my customer had acquired second floor and attic, broke the entire roof down, the last ceiling and most walls inside the second floor apartment - the only thing I left untouched were the outer walls (road side).
In the process I anchored a two floor steel construction on the second floor - like this I was able to make from originally 2 acquired floors with a total area of about 250 sqm a total newly created area of almost 420 sqm, extending the house to it’s maximum permitted hight with a new roof under 45 degrees and a “design element” exceeding 45 degrees, which required a special permission through Vienna’s architectural magistracy.
As always with extensive projects not everyone around was happy with it, however my customer was very content with the development and lives today happily in his 3 level loft.
First level - entrance, toilette, shoe room, guest room, fitness room, bath room, sauna & steam bath, laundry room & living room - all crowned by a 40 m2 air space with a total hight of a little bit over 17 meters.
Second level - half open kitchen, dining area for 12 seated guests, open office & library - on the back side a huge terrace with whirl pool.
Third level - master bedroom, toilette, bathroom & terrace
As a special feature my customer wished for a Siemens Instabus system, which was a special challenge and very expensive - we installed 21,000 meter of electric cables in order to run the house later like a computer. Now the owner can call his house during jogging and heat up his sauna and fill the bathtub - his kitchen appliances call Siemens by themselves to order parts or repairs :-) - and lots of features more.
I was really happy with my work and as expected it looked a lot more impressive than my design model :-).
Please accept my apology for the quality of the pictures, I've shot them 2001 on film and scanned the paper pics.