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Smart Stripes, Graz, Austria

  • Status: ALLDesign
  • Date: 2016
  • Client: Stadt Graz
  • Countries: Austria 
  • Typology: Urban 
  • Size: >100.000m² 

Functional, versatile and edgeless, are the leitmotifs for this design. A public space for people of the 21st century, people who like to spend their time outdoors, who like to walk to their workplace, ride a bike or travel by public transport. The aim is to maximize the potential of the living space in which people move daily. This space is supposed to become a meeting place for people of all generations, with space for various functions and activities.
An important feature of the project is that the flooring is composed of concrete blocks arranged in a dynamically elongated format, this creates a varied pattern in three color options. The direction of the blocks emphasizes the North-South orientation of the Waagner Birostraße whilst similarly highlighting the flow of direction between the Quartierpark, in the north and the Helmut Listhalle in the south.
The paving design is continued throughout the complex to create a collective identity and tie the separate areas together.
The Waagner Birostraße, with its proximity to the center, offers a lot of potential. This potential is being utilized by the Smart City Graz project. The whole neighborhood is transformed into a multifunctional space where living, working and relaxing are all possible in one place.
The two main areas, the Quartierpark and the Smart City Center with the main square and the pedestrian mile, form a combination of urban space and open countryside. Although known as urban space, the square also offers lots of green areas and seating for relaxing and recharging, which integrates seamlessly into the whole concept of the space. Together, the individual areas merge into a generous public space that allows for different activities. The result is a beautiful and highly functional public space that can be used all year round by many people for many purposes.
The addition of new urban furniture, such as multifunctional benches and protective roofs, results in the creation of an exciting space for people of all ages and backgrounds.
The implementation of two hills in the park area add interest to the landscape, create private space, a natural lounge area, as well as an extended play area for the adjacent playground. There is also a grandstand for the fun-court as well for open-air events.
Various walking trails, green meadows and shaded chill-out zones, including hammocks, hammocks provide the opportunity for lunch and leisure time for the young and old. An idyllic lake at the center of the park offers a central focus as well as an attraction for wildlife. In the summer the lake brings a certain freshness into the environment giving the park goers a lovely setting to sit and relax and even maybe paddle. The surrounding grass areas offer the perfect setting for sunbathing, socializing games and exercise. In winter, with the proper supervision, the frozen lake could offer further interaction as an ice rink for young and young at heart
The neighborhood park is divided into two zones with different functions.
The zone between the north building and middle section is designed as an active zone where people can pursue different sports and leisure activities.
The zone north of the Cool City is designed as a relaxing oasis to provide the people in the neighborhood with a retreat and invite them to relax and take their time enjoying the lake and the chill-out zone
The floor coverings and the furniture are made of durable and very hard-wearing material reducing the need for constant maintenance and replacement. When designing the flooring we tried to consider a process and material that is easy-to-produce and cost-effective. The floor panels can all be produced in the same manufacturing process and only the color needs to altered. The process is simplified and made more cost-effective by using a single format.
By collecting rainwater and electricity via thermal and solar energy the rooves can be used to the advantage of the residents, also creating economic advantages generated from the direct environment. The power can be used to charge mobile phones or other devices. The rain water can be used as to supply the whole area.
The seating and reclining areas consist of a massive, resistant bases, the direct seating surface is composed of natural wood which offers a comfortable seating surface.
The surface of the paths in the park are designed with a Terraway flooring so that the rainwater can soak through and the network of existing roots and plants is not disturbed. The surface is air and water permeable, but at the same time offers a low rolling resistance.
The urban furniture offers seats, loungers and small tables, which serve as work surfaces for people who like to do their work in the fresh air and in the countryside. The furniture also includes rooved shelters that are scattered over the public space. These offer protection from the elements and create a pleasant atmosphere in the evening with indirect lighting and produce electricity with integrated photovoltaic panels on the roof. In the backrest of the furniture are located USB charging points which are fed via the photovoltaic panels. The accumulated rainwater is collected and can be used as domestic water.
The furniture is designed in such a way that it is pleasant for every age group. Seating options include seating and lounging areas, as well as areas with armrests and backrests for the elderly. The transit areas between the individual neighborhood areas are also barrier-free and well-arranged.
For children, the large park offers numerous possibilities for their imagination to run free. A playground with a large sandpit and slide encourages them to play. The space around the playground is landscaped to include hills making if perfect for inventive games.

Project Architect: Andrea Vattovani
Project Team: Igor Kolonic, Mario Keusch, Petrit Vejseli, Sebastian Reiter
Status: Competition – Special Mention
Renderings:  © AVA