Artistic design of the forecourt and atrium of the residential complex Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 ViennaWinner of the competition: Erika Hock

Artistic design of the forecourt and atrium of the residential complex Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 Vienna

Together with WIGEBA - Wiener Gemeindewohnungs Baugesellschaft m.b.H. a permanent art project in the area of the forecourt and/or atrium of the Gemeindebau NEU Engerthstrasse 257A was initiated.

The goal is an artistic design that gives this Gemeindebau NEU its unique character. The artwork is intended to make the foyer more attractive for residents, users and passers-by, to enable the integration of contemporary art into everyday life and at the same time to give the site an unmistakable identity with a high recognition value.

On January 27, 2023, the five-member jury decided in favor of Erika Hock's design.

Winning design: Erika Hock - Home Stories.

With her design Home Stories, Erika Hock succeeds in bringing topics such as "living" and "home" into the atrium of the Gemeindebau NEU with remarkable ease and high precision, thus creating a feel-good atmosphere. Conceptually coherent and artistically as well as technically well thought out, she leads stainless steel tubes in drawing-like quality over the more than 20 m high wall and creates a multi-perspective installation, which assigns each floor its own fixed point and yet can be experienced through different perspectives. Through humorously designed elements that symbolically address living - such as pieces of clothing seemingly hung out to dry, or a coffee cup - this design sensitively carries unpaid and often invisible work into the publicly accessible space. The installation communicates with residents and visitors, relating to them and their movements in the curved lines and welcoming them into this housing.

--- Statement of the Jury

Art must be accessible to and experienced by all the people of Vienna. It has the social function of inspiring and stimulating both thought and dialogue. This socio-political level is of enormous importance for an open society. With the new art project in the Gemeindebau NEU in Engerthstraße, WIGEBA and KÖR prove once again how important it is to assume this responsibility.
--- Kathrin Gaál - Executive City Councillor for Housing, Housing Construction, Urban Renewal and Women's Issues

Six colored tubular steel elements bent into different shapes seem to shimmy up the unusually high atrium wall, emphasizing the special nature of the architectural design. They are reminiscent of classic round tubular steel handrails and are attached to the wall with the same principle and spacing. Objects made of milled aluminum hang from two elements, each representing a T-shirt (perforated aluminum) and a pair of pants. A third element supports an oversized coffee cup handmade of ceramic, as if it had been casually placed on a wall shelf. The shirt and pants appear to have been hung out to dry. There are flares on the remaining three tubular steel wall objects. After dark, these illuminate the 23 m high and elegant wall in a warm, homely light. The color scheme of the objects is a lush green, sunny yellow, ultramarine blue and a delicate rosé tone.

The "Home Stories" design for the municipal building on Engerthstraße is playful and humorous, reflecting or highlighting the character of the architectural design. Unmistakably, the installation is an artistic allegory on the concept of "home." What is a home, what characterizes it and what stories can be told about it? As different and heterogeneous as our respective homes may be, elements and images such as a set-down cup or hanging laundry are familiar to everyone across all generations and social classes, and everyone can relate to them. They represent the concept of "living" and are thus intended to serve a community-building idea.

Further competition entry: Thomas Hörl - "WWW (wienerwäschewand)"

A mural covers the walls of the foyer and atrium of the building as well as the panels of the forecourt, where a hanging sculpture welcomes residents and visitors. In Thomas Hörl's design, clothes from different cultures stylized into stencils use a batik look and color gradient to create a friendly entrance area and depict community. Applied directly to the walls in the atrium and the panels of the forecourt, the intervention remains discreetly in the background and at the same time creates a space open to associations with a painterly quality in which one can literally immerse oneself. The artist uses the color indigo in different shades. For some years now, indigo plants can increasingly be found in gardens and green spaces planted by the city of Vienna. The traditional extraction of color from this ancient cultivated plant is also ecologically harmless. Thus, this specific blue can be perceived as a positive sign.

The design imagines a climate-friendly future in which laundry is dried by means of simple hanging without consuming energy. The artist was inspired by "southern conditions and customs," where hanging laundry characterizes the image of many cities. According to Thomas Hörl, this appears friendly and inviting, it shows an openness and allows the boundaries between inside and outside or private and public to become permeable. Today, Vienna's communal buildings prohibit drying in the hanging rooms that still exist, and new communal buildings no longer include drying rooms in their plans, so that many people no longer have this environmentally friendly and inexpensive option for drying their laundry. These common rooms were once places of encounter, personal exchange and promoted togetherness.

On the forecourt, a sculpture visually reminiscent of a clothesline construction takes us back to the past: some people still remember the simple wooden slats used to hoist the lines up in the outdoor space to prevent the laundry from touching the ground. The creative inversion of the conditions upside down can be an ironic commentary but also a quiet criticism regarding the loss of such clotheslines from municipal housing. In the interplay between sculpture and mural, the artistic intervention welcomes the residents and visitors of the housing in a cheerful and hospitable manner, despite the serious content.


Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 Wien

Further Information

One-stage, invited discursive procedure for the artistic design of the forecourt and atrium of the residential complex Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 Vienna

Cooperation WIGEBA - Wiener Gemeindewohnungs Baugesellschaft m.b.H. and KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien


Kunst im öffentlichen Raum GmbH

WIGEBA - Wiener Gemeindewohnungs Baugesellschaft m.b.H.


Kunst im öffentlichen Raum GmbH


Werkraum Ingenieure ZT-GmbH, Monika Trimmel


Jakob Dunkl, KÖR jury and architect

Robert Strehn, WIGEBA

Anna Artaker, artist

Christoph Zich, Deputy District Head 2nd Viennese District (i.V. Alexander Nikolai, District Head 2nd Viennese District)

Georgia Holz, Curator


Michael Flatz, MA 37 - Building police

Martin Steiner, MA 19 - Architecture and Urban Design

Cornelia Offergeld, KÖR GmbH, Curatorial Director


Martina Taig, KÖR GmbH, Managing Director

Monika Trimmel, Werkraum Ingenieure ZT-GmbH


Artistic design of the forecourt and atrium of the residential complex Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 ViennaWinner of the competition: Erika Hock

Time Period

Realization est. summer 2024

U2 Stadion

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