The wish for a new opera house in Linz came at a time when the city, the region and the province were embarking on a path of fundamental renewal. The borders were open, the catchment area had expanded abruptly, and an entire cultural area was available to be engaged with.
The location of the new opera house in Linz was well chosen: at the junction of one of the city’s main green spaces, major thoroughfares and a historical urban axis. It connects the old town, the cultivated landscape and major traffic arteries. These elements serve as stimulation for the new opera house – the axis of the highway, the green spaces of the Volksgarten park and the wide open thoroughfares. The plot is set on the westbound railway line just like the main square is set on the Danube river. It has traffic below and to the side, gardens in front and within, and the weight of the empty old main square; here, level space is truly elevated.
It is a happy coincidence: the city, the opera house, music, traffic, railway line, the Volksgarten park (a space true to its name, the “People’s Garden”). The wish for a new opera house coincides with that for a new city. The new spaces of the Linz Opera House arise from this coincidence of desires. They are spaces set between gardens; others are suspended high above the city; yet others carry pedestrians above the city on their ceilings. The GRAY MASS of the city is elevated, creating urban weight: arias and mass.
First and foremost, mass is defined as weight in urban design. Ingredients such as supranational arterial roads, railway lines that become open spaces in the dense city, booming ultra-heavy industry, and investment in contemporary culture begin to materialize. That is the weight of the city. Functions are not given at first.
The colonization of this gray urban mass with the functions of an opera house is a happy coincidence. The gray urban mass is permeated by songs and arias. Functions overlap.