Vienna, Austria, administration building of the Bundesländerversicherung insurance company


The Huge Reinforced Concrete Skeleton Structures

After a few decades, the curtain façade of the huge, box-shaped building has begun to leak. The inside walls, office interiors and furniture have become faded and worn, toxic insulation materials have begun to disintegrate and diffuse. The building is to be demolished. An economic viability study is commissioned and concludes that everything is to be dismantled; the skeleton of reinforced concrete, however, is to remain.

a) The supporting structure is meticulously stripped and cleaned, laid bare so to say, leaving only the naked rack structure of stacked levels. The skeletal frame constitutes a three-dimensional property and could, theoretically, be sold level by level (zone by zone), then developed piece by piece like land. The land register entries would suddenly expand to many levels. Twenty building plots would be stacked one above the other, and neighbor rights would defy gravity.

b) The load-bearing skeletons of the large buildings are further improved in terms of capacity, quality and endurance. Their life span exceeds that of other building elements by up to 10 periods. They are more or less the records, the memory, that which remains of a building. The skin, furniture and walls are increasingly specialized. They become ever more short-lived, temporary and easily exchangeable. At some point, no more skeletal frames will be erected because of their abundant availability. They belong to no one. Groups of settlers will stretch skins over skeletal frames. (TWA)

The Large Insurance Companies

Amended building regulations will commit large insurance companies to reserving a percentage of their buildings' space volume for use by the public. This space volume must be delineated external space within a constructed building and be made available to the public for further development. There will be no connection between the thousands of office units and the enclosed external space. This external space constitutes an offer, in the same way that a chimney is an offer to a stork. At some point, the public will decide to develop this enclosed external space, a public insert into a recurrent grid. Since buildings will be mere frames, these public inserts will be caught in the office grids like shells and flotsam. Thus, the large insurance company buildings will contain small public cells, bits of specialized libraries, community kitchens where celebrated chefs concoct the best dishes, vegetarian dishes, where recipes are exchanged, large exercise rooms, self-administrated table tennis clubs. A narrow bridge links the office grid to the community kitchens. It serves as a service and cleaning corridor. There are large sleeping areas, where warm summer nights are spent collectively in theta-wave dreams. It is an inversion of the food chain. (TWA)


Mitarbeiter | Collaborator
Mitarbeiter | Collaborator

Klaus Bollinger
Tragwerksanalyse | Structural analysis
Werner Silbermayr
Kostenberechnungen | Cost calculations
Site 11/1
BVA 1 Bauplatz bva1_1
BVA, office building for the Bundesländer insurance company. Curtain wall on concrete skeleton, AC system, fully climate controlled building, constructed in 1959-1961, architect: Georg Lippert. In the late 1990s, it became clear that the "appurtenances" had to be exchanged if the building is to continue to be used. In addition, the building envelope also had to be renovated. The reinforced concrete skeleton was considered sustainable. The projects BVA1, 2 and 3 were based on these facts.  
BVA, Bürogebäude der Bundesländer Versicherung. Vorhangfassade auf Stahlbetonskelett, Klimaanlage, komplett kontrolliertes Gebäudeklima, erbaut 1959 bis 1961 von Georg Lippert. Mit Ende der 90er Jahre wird klar, dass wenn man das Gebäude weiter nutzen will, die "Ausbauteile" ausgetauscht werden müssen. Die Gebäudehülle müsste ebenfalls erneuert werden. Weiterhin tragfähig schien das Stahlbetonskelett. Auf diesen Tatsachen haben wir die Projekte BVA1, 2, 3 aufgebaut.  
Models 63/6
BVA 1 Modelle bva1_4
Volumes for public use, accesible from outside, are built into the existing grids and skeletal constructions. The private areas are mute, the office areas are encapsulated. The existing skeletal structures are the building site, the developments shapeless.  
Öffentlich nutzbare Volumen werden in den bestehenden Stabraster gebaut. Sie werden von aussen betreten. Die privaten Bereiche sind stumm, die Bürozellen verkapselt. Der bestehende Stabraster ist das Baugelände, die Bauteile formlos.  
BVA 1 Modelle bva1_8
BVA 1, reformatted version  
BVA 1, reformatiert  
BVA 1 Modelle ts_bva_ok_2_podest_kopie1
Opaque sections of development. Foundations are supplanted by grips, suspensions and struts, components reminiscent of bromeliads.  
Geschlossene Bauteile, Fundierungen sind Klammern, Aufhängungen und Stützen, Bauteile aus der Familie der Bromelien.  
BVA 1 Modelle bva1_modelle6
Opaque and translucent sections of development. The development is shapeless. Constructive contact with the former ground is lost. The weight and volume of a solid building site is replaced by the skeleton grids of large office buildings.  
Opake und transluzente Volumen. Die Bauteile sind formlos. Der konstruktive Kontakt mit dem Boden ist verloren. Gewicht und Volumen des Baugrundes wird von den Stabrastern der grossen Bürogebäude ersetzt.  
BVA 1 Modelle 000001a_high_res
BVA, volumes for public use isolated from the loadbearing skeleton of office areas.  
BVA, Volumen der öffentlichen Nutzung werden vom tragenden Skelett der Bürozellen isoliert.  
BVA 1 Modelle tscha_bva_070
Sections 11/1
BVA 1 Schnitte bva1_plaene3
BVA, collage alpha  
BVA, Collage alpha  
Animations 11/1
Videopreview BVA1

Animation 67 sec.

Animation 67 Sek.