Barrier-free Excursion

Karl-Marx-Hof

Excursion for blind and visually impaired people

The structure of a facade is explored by touch.

Karl-Marx-Hof
© Architekturzentrum Wien

Karl-Marx-Hof is, with a length of 1.2km, one of the largest and most famous buildings in Vienna. As an icon of Socialist Vienna’s housing developments of the 1920s and ’30s, Karl Marx-Hof has branded itself into our minds. Especially noticeable are the towers and gateways in the central tract of the complex, which only contains a fraction of the 1,325 apartments.

The true architectural achievement consists, though, less in the design of this ‘fortress-like’ façade and more in the solution for the arrangement of the apartments on the narrow site so that they all profit equally from the large green areas in the three courtyards. Karl Marx-Hof has as many residents as a small town. A large number of housing projects were completed at the time of Red Vienna to ease an acute housing shortage and to improve the quality of the population’s living conditions. At the time of Red Vienna, luxury meant running water and a WC in the home. In the housing complexes of Red Vienna there was also a range of additional facilities, such as washrooms, post offices, first aid centres, a library, advice bureaus etc. This made small cities within the city of the complex, and people no longer had to travel long distances to satisfy their basic needs.

People on an excursion explore a model by touch

Touch model of the Karl-Marx-Hof
©

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