Bureau B+B: Hardly any project has divided the inhabitants of the Austrian city of Vienna as much as the redevelopment of their beloved shopping street Mariahilferstrasse. In the middle of the last century the elegant boulevard was transformed into a pulsating arterial road, with little thought for pedestrians. The aim today is to transform the polluted and noisy inner Mariahilfer Straße into a traffic restricted zone. The main goal is to provide a greater quality of life for residents, visitors, local businesses and shops. The 1.6km long street is divided into two zones. The core zone will be reconfigured into a true pedestrian zone, the two other areas will be designed along shared space principles. Shared space is an urban design approach which seeks to minimize demarcations between vehicle traffic and pedestrians.
At the beginning of 2013 the city of Vienna organized a tender in two phases. In April 2013 the Dutch landscape and urban design office Bureau B+B together with the Viennese architects orso.pitro won the competition for the renewal of the Mariahilferstrasse.
This transformation took place in dialogue with the future users. Organized by the Viennese office stadtland who are specialized in participation procedures. In the past year, together with a broad range of experts from the city of Vienna, the office has worked on a simple as possible but future-oriented design for the renewal of the shopping boulevard. The starting point for the design was to transform the Mariahilferstrasse from a common shopping street with two sidewalks divided by busy traffic into a metropolitan shopping boulevard fit for a European capital city.
The design proposed a uniform ground level. Orientation is provided by two lines of kerbstones forming a red thread through the design. An asymmetrical street profile generates the spaces where they are desired. City lounge areas with so-called “dialogue furniture” offer places for meeting and interaction.
An elegant, timeless and pedestrian friendly avenue forms a unity between historical facades, ground and urban elements. The new attractive common spaces will invite young and old to observe, stroll and pause all year round. The design will revive and invigorate the street scene.
Slowly the users appreciate the street. Acting differently and creating new situations in the public space. “Welcome to the Mariahilferstrasse, a new stage for daily life“
Client: City of Vienna, Department of Urban Design (MA19)
Landscape Architecture: Bureau B+B urbandesign and landscape, Amsterdam
i.c.orso.pitro architects, Vienna
Traffic infrastructure design: FCP Fritsch, Chiari & Partner ZT GmbH, Vienna
Road Management and Construction
Department of Road Management and Construction (MA28)
Department of Urban Transportation (MA46)
ARGE FUZO MAHÜ 2014
Pittel & Brausewetter
Held & Francke
Photos: Ricky Rijkenberg
Location: Vienna, Austria
Size: 43.000 m2
Status: First Part Completed 2014