Panel Discussion

Stadt des Kindes


Wed 20.10.2004, 19:00-21:00

Stadt des Kindes
© Anton Schweighofer

Oliver Österreicher, architect, ‘The Chronology of Stadt des Kindes’

Followed by a discussion:
Moderated by: Christian Kühn, Architekturstiftung Österreich
* Michaela Mischek-Lainer, Mischek Bau AG
* Barbara Neubauer, state conservation authorities
* Oliver Österreicher, architect
* Anton Schweighofer, architect
* Walter Stelzhammer, architect

In August 1973 the first children moved into their new home in the Stadt des Kindes (Child’s Town), a building on the western periphery of Vienna once called “an exemplary children’s home”, redesigned on the basis of a new care concept by the Wiener Jugendheime.
Then as now, this building (one of the main projects by the architect Anton Schweighofer) is a rare example from the 1960s of an attempt to realise a Utopian idea. The project was often described as an ideal urban model in terms of space. In the meantime the concept for the care of children in homes has changed radically.

Consequently, the complex has lost its original function and is currently provisionally serving as accommodation for Tschechenian refugees. As the owner, the City of Vienna, wants to sell the grounds a new zoning concept envisages use of the main building for apartments and supplementary new apartment buildings. The building regulations and the building physics involved mean that a partial restoration and alteration to the existing structure are required.

The conservation issue for the essential elements of the architecture, which can be seen as the translation of a revolutionary social policy, is to be discussed by a panel of experts. This protection order is also being taken to provide an occassion to talk about the listing of modern architecture in general. What are the strategies required today? How can the traces of the original be protected and transferred into the present?