The Vorstufengebäude was the first nucleus built for the new University of Klagenfurt, by the well-known Austrian architect Roland Rainer. In the early 70′s, its modular structure with precast reinforced concrete skeleton, represented -so to say- the official entrance on the stage of Austrian architecture of the so-called Brutalism. Bare beams, structural connections in open sight, no coating materials, bright colors and contrasts… all they supported the concept of a modern university building conceived as a sort of Mediterranean house. For these reasons, the Vorstufengebäude is now protected by the Heritage Preservation Council. The restoration project had to bring the rigorous poverty of this architecture to the level of today technical and constructive standards. Instead of hiding interventions, we followed the same logic as the original project by declaring each operation, quite frankly and directly. The elimination of some internal walls opens new views from and towards the outside and, above all, the large central patio is now completely healed by the many problems caused by the passing of the years. The new air conditioning system is placed on the flat roof, so as to interfere as little as possible with the external view. With a careful study, it was possible to recover some of the original materials and above all to rediscover the typical colors of the construction. The daughter of the previous architect also collaborated in the restoration. At the conclusion of the work, the Ministry of Culture awarded to our studio a silver medal due to the success of the difficult rehabilitation of this interesting example of modern architecture.
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