HILLS, TOWERS AND SOME OTHER SPECIAL STRUCTURES ON THE BANKS OF THE MUR RIVER
From a historical perspective, it is understandable that the city of Graz is turned away from its river, but from a future perspective, it is not. The Mur River carries a supra-regional, linear, greater area into the city that the city can react to and interweave with. One of Graz’s spatial development opportunities will be to turn towards this river area and to suspend a new, large-scale urban area for the 21st century between its edges that carries the river in its midst. This can be achieved by purposefully positioned buildings that create space in a ping-pong exchange between the right and left banks. A new project on Andreas Hofer Square, which is very well developed in terms of infrastructure, can be a contribution to this new, large-scale urban area of the 21st century.
AS THE NAME INDICATES, ANDREAS HOFER SQUARE IS A PUBLIC SQUARE.
It consists of public space. The space of the square is to be transformed by means of new development, but will by all means persist as a public square. New construction should therefore be focused and compact, leave spaces open, and facilitate a changed, new public space.
Andreas Hofer Square is actually an irregularity. Contrary to the main square and other squares, it lies not like a clearing in the historical fabric of the city, but at the edge of that fabric. It constitutes an exception, a deep niche, gap or terrace in the massive wall of riverside construction, open to the large river basin.
RIVERBANKS, TERRACES + SLOPING SQUARE
A part of the project is a raised ground slab, a sloping square that continues the slope of the riverbanks, as if the river had pushed the banks into the city. The sloping square is open to all.
The sloping square consists of several spaces that can be separated depending on their functions. The hotel’s restaurant and bar are open to the sloping square. The restaurant will have a spacious, protected terrace. Kiosks can be set up on the sloping square.
A cylindrical tower that is notched at the bottom is set on the sloping square. The notch creates a sheltered, roofed outdoor space. The cylindrical tower is functionally open. It can accommodate the most varied uses at the same time. However, it could also just be an office tower. It could just be a residential tower. It could also be a hotel tower. Each room of the cylindrical tower opens up a different view of the city.
We are not talking about a high-rise; we are talking about a tower, an old shape, similar to the rook in chess.
VARIABILITY OF FUNCTIONS
The hotel, offices and apartments can be arranged in various configurations and sizes. The dense installations of the hotel section are combined at its lowest level and carried on as a bundle. In addition to a residential function, the roof levels could also accommodate uses such as a panoramic restaurant, a panorama terrace, a roof garden, a palm house, a pool or a super-fitness club.