Viennese public housing provider Wiener Wohnen is committed to socially and environmentally conscious renovation. In 2023, the State Guild of Construction of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce awarded Wiener Wohnen with the Gold Urban Renewal Prize for the Georg Emmerling Hof building. So, let’s explore this urban renewal project…
The Georg Emmerling Hof building in Vienna was built in the 1950s and comprises 215 apartments. It was constructed during the tenure of Mayor Franz Jonas. From 1952, there was a strong focus on ‘social urban development’ to deal with housing shortages and poor living conditions.
Keeping this important history in mind, Wiener Wohnen renovated the Georg Emmerling Hof building from 2019 to 2022. It placed a strong emphasis on thermal renovation. This included façade insulation, the installation of wood-aluminium thermal insulation windows, and attic and basement ceiling insulation.
In addition, the building underwent significant maintenance work. Nine contemporary apartments were built in the attic of the building. Furthermore, numerous initiatives improved the daily life of tenants, including the construction of storage rooms for bicycles and waste. The installation of new ramps ensured barrier-free access to the entire complex.
Past, present, and future
Staying true to its history, Wiener Wohnen restored the appearance of the listed building. In addition, Wiener Wohnen recognised the importance of artwork in the building’s story.
Since the 1950s, a goat sculpture sits in the courtyard of the building. The work of art contradicted the ideal of the natural image that was common in the 1950s. Thus, the sculpture was seen as a symbol of the inequality experienced by the people during that period.
In 2021, the sculpture ‘Themroc’ was installed on the building’s façade facing the Danube Canal, linking to depictions of workers in municipal buildings.
An award-winning urban renewal project
The Gold Urban Renewal prize showcases projects that improve Vienna’s cityscape and make a positive contribution to urban development.