09 / 2018

(on a slope)

courtyardhouse01_web.jpg Courtyard in the afternoon

courtyardhouse02_web.jpg North-West Elevation

courtyardhouse03_web.jpg Main living area close to dusk

10 / 2017

A house with 4 individual units

rickenbach01_web.jpg South-East Elevation

rickenbach02_web.jpg North-East Elevation

rickenbach03_web.jpg Maisonette overheight living room facing South-West towards the garden

rickenbach04_web.jpg Two bedroom unit overheight living room facing South-East towards the garden and the creek

rickenbach05_web.jpg Penthouse living room and kitchen with adjacent terrace

11 / 2015

Non-standard projections and the willing suspension of disbelief

sp1_web Exhibition View

sp2_web Exhibition View

sp3_web Exhibition View

sp12_web Digital Study - 4243 x 6000 Pixel

06 / 2015

Competition Entry
by OpenFields and Christian Tonko
more wmn1_web Schematic rendering of the new tower in front of the existing building
wmn2_web Elevation Karlskirche

wmn5_web Section BB

wmn8_web Siteplan 1:500


The Courtyard House sits on an eastern slope of the lower rhine valley. Designed for a couple the main floor wraps around a courtyard including a swimming pool. The courtyard is enclosed by the building itself on three sides while the slope and vegetation provide the fourth wall.
The plan is organized in a U-shaped layout: kitchen on the southern side, living area on the western side, sleeping and bathrooms on the northern side. This main floor rests in part on columns and in part on a socle comprised of two additional floors. The lowest level contains the garage and infrastructural spaces. The intermediate level provides the main entrance for visitors as well as an independent flat.
The building shows two distinctly different faces. Towards the valley it appears as a fairly minimalist bar while the courtyard elevation pays homage to mid-century modernism.

The "Haus am Rickenbach" is named after a creek running east of the building site. It is located at the bottom of the eastern slopes of the lower Rhine valley.
The building contains 4 partly stacked units with individual layouts and features. 2 units share the ground floor and the adjacent garden. The other two units on first and second floor feature large terraces and plenty of daylight.
Because every unit has its own individual character while providing suitable living space for families this building aims to provide an alternative to the single family house while using less land than the latter. This comes in response to a shortage of develop-able land in the area which currently transforms from rural to suburban.
The basic shape and size of building is derived from traditional agricultural buildings which used to dominate the area. Especially towards the street the building presents a purist appearance and only the headroom of the general staircase clad in stainless steel gives a hint at the contemporary nature of the buildings interior organisation. Towards the garden on the south side the building is more open as all units are directly coupled with large exterior spaces.
The general staircase in combination with the elevator shaft provides the building with a structural spine in reinforced concrete while the rest of the buildings structure consists in engineered wood elements.
Through the qualities of the wood itself combined with strong layers of insulation the building achieves a remarkable overall performance in terms of emissions and energetic efficiency.

Standard Primitives refers to simple geometric objects such as a sphere, a cube or a cylinder. In digital modelling software these elementary geometries are often used as basic matter from which much more complex models are being developed.
In this case the objects are being transformed through non-standard projections. For example a sphere is being dissolved into a certain amount of points with a brightness property. These points are then not linearly projected onto the image plane but are projected twice via a curved surface. The result are bent geometries some of which resemble celestial bodies floating through space. The surfaces of these bodies show intricate details of elevation and depression.
In the exhibition one of these bodies is installed as a free-standing plane with small circular perforations each stemming from one original point of the original object. Thus the installation is literally composed of filtered light just as a stained glassed window in a church.
The affinity of the visual language of religious imagery and the depiction of celestial bodies in science fiction movies becomes apparent. Images of unreachable stars and planets in the infinity of space act similar to religious icons in inspiring awe and overwhelming the viewer. To fully engage with either religion or science fiction it is necessary to find what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called a willing suspension of disbelief. It is necessary to believe.

Standard Primitives was on display at the Silver Linings Exhibition curated by EyeTry.

The Wien Museum is located at the edge of Karlsplatz the biggest open square within the historic Vienna city fabric. It its surrounded by remarkable historic architecture most notably the Karlskirche which dominates the eastern part of the square. Karlsplatz is a chaotic, unplanned space with a rich but turbulent history and its potential as a valuable public space of immense quality has only been discovered in recent years.
Historically the square is a leftover of the Glacis - the open space between city walls and the suburbs. Even today we understand this intermediate condition as a public space where various pavilions house different recreational functions. In that sense we propose the addition of a new pavilion which stands freely within the square and is elevated so the park landscape remains uninterrupted.
Our concept divides the new museum complex into 3 parts: the existing building, the new floating tower and the subterranean connection level. The existing building houses the permanent exhibition as well as the museum cafe, the tower contains temporary exhibition spaces and public studios and the connection level contains the museum lobby as well as the large temporary exhibition space.
Wide staircases continue the Karlsplatz landscape into the lower connection level and lead visitors towards the main entrances passing the public heart of the building - the event space underneath the floating tower - which is used independently from museum opening hours and in summer is being extended to the outside becoming a stage for the amphitheatre.
Circulation through the building is flexible and can be experienced in many ways. From the lobby all parts of the exhibition as well as other public functions are directly and independently accessible. At the same time it is possible to move through the entire building in a closed loop. The most spectacular view of the Karlskirche from the rooftop bar is always open to the entire public.