If the inventors of Strasshof, could have had their way the city on the northern railway line today could be the “biggest and most beautiful city” of Lower Austria, planned on an orthogonal street grid following the US-example – unique for Austria. A garden as well as an industrial city that was to be developed in 1908 after the construction of the shunting station in the surrounding area on the Strasserfeld. Because of the political history of Austria this plan never could be realized, only the planned street grid remained and became the basis of the building structure we find nowadays in Strasshof.
Today we have to accept that the conception of the city has failed.
This imagination of a city assumes that the specific city undergoes for itself a certain abstraction. The single house is an image of an architectonical story that manifests itself differently. Based on the example of the town of Strasshof it’s easy to see how images of ideas and demonstrations of urban development – like in the specific city of Chicago – become explicit and materialize, but ultimately also can fail.
Based on the ideas “CITY green”, “CITY water” and “CITY mountains” we take a further step of a possible implantation. The existent and determining cityscape of a small house structure functions in this case as a grown artificial landscape. It serves as foreground or stage for the projections of possible developments that lay behind. What happened really to the original model Chicago like in “CITY green”.
In “CITY water” existent qualities are discussed, oversubscribed but also promoted-which maybe are not always seen.
Or we project similar types of landscapes that are reflected in suggested idylls like in “CITY mountains „but at the same time are transferred into the reality of possibility. Different types of projection areas suggest possibilities and impossibilities of developments.
The project IMAGINATION CITY was developed for the book „Lernen vom Raster – Strasshof an der Nordbahn und seine verborgenen Pläne“. Edited by Judith Eiblmayr.
NWV – Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag – Architektur
ISBN 9 783708 309439
With articles from:
Erich Bernard, Günter Dinhobl, Judith Eiblmayr, heri&salli, Caroline Jäger-Klein, Franziska Leeb, Johanna Rainer, Manfred Russo, and photographs by Philipp Balga