Build Architecture Awards

Build Architecture Awards 2015 51 GABU Heindl Architektur works in architecture, urban planning, activism, exhibition concepts & designs, public debates and theory. We speak to Gabu Heindl, the firm’s owner, about the work the firm does and how these projects helped the firm to win this highly regard- ed award. GABU Heindl Architektur has a critical and political agenda of planning – by means of a theory-based, democratically engaged architec- tural practice and practice-oriented theory. What are your recent achievements? We have recently completed a number of pro- jects, one of which for instance included a new urban planning instrument: the Non-Building Plan is the central element of the urban guide- lines for the Viennese Donaukanal (together with Susan Kraupp), commissioned by the city of Vienna, MA 19. Also, I just won an interna- tional competition in Warsaw to commemorate Poles who rescued Jews during the German occupation, a monument I designed together with Eduard Freudmann. Another recent pro- ject we are particularly proud of in my archi- tecture office is the positioning of a school as a neighborhood sports centre in Wr. Neustadt, for which we developed a participation model with 1000 school kids and 100 teachers. Overall our projects take their position in the urban cultural setting of film, art or theatre but also include kindergartens, schools and urban planning. Architecture is not merely a service rendered but rather the shaping of the environment, underpinned by analysis and extending to research projects undertaken on our own initiative, lectures and publications as well as to informal discussions, in public debates and teaching contexts. Could you describe your practice for us? Our work is dedicated to social justice, to understanding and challenging power relations in public space, to fight gentrifica- tion, racism or discrimination, and to actively work on a democratic culture of participation and planning, e.g. for public space without obligations for consumption a political agenda of planning – by means of a theory-based architectural practice and practice-based theory work. Award for Innovation in Temporary Installations - Austria GABU Heindl Architektur Company: GABU Heindl Architektur Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: Schottenfeldgasse 72/2/8, 1070 Wien Telephone: +43.676.7725850 In order to ensure, that our projects are developed to meet our standards we up-hold our design philosophy with every design we create. GABU Heindl Architecture says “yes” and “no”: “yes” to the design of public buildings and cultural, educational and infra- structure facilities. “No” to chauvinist, racist or discriminating architecture, exploitative project proposals, suburbanizing single-family homes or speculation ventures. What is your relationship to sustainability? We regularly integrate high but also low cost sustainable design strategies into our projects as we believe that it would be unintelligent not to use up-to-date material and technology. We consider sustainable design as smart design: be it the positioning on the site, or context- or project-specific logics. For instance: We designed a sculpture in public space for the Wiener Festwochen to be used in various spatial sub-configurations, built from identical plates of raw spruce, connected by specific timber joints and screws without any glue. This sculpture is being dismantled into pieces and rebuilt every year, with recycling every single piece of it. But: Aside from the ecological crises there is the crises of justice, which I feel of at least the same importance in my architectural practice. This is why we are dedicated to building alliances between top-down and bottom-up initiatives and strategies against gentrification, discrimination or excessive commercialization of public space. We are actually working on connecting critical political science with the practice and pragmatics of architecture and urban design – with our clients being the Federal Real Estate Company, the Vienna city government, public cultural institutions (such as the Austrian Filmmuseum or Wiener Festwochen) but also research projects partner, e.g. dealing with migration issues, such as the festival Wien- woche, or the Right-to-the-City movement or other critical independent NGOs and grass roots movements. GABU Heindl Architektur: Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus, Vienna and temporary sculpture for Wiener Festwochen Gabu Heindl with Eduard Freudmann: The Monument May be a Forest, winning project for a monument to commemorate Poles who rescued Jews during the German occupation, Warsaw GABU Heindl Architektur: BG Zehnergasse, school expansion in Wiener Neustadt