Elias Baumgarten, Heiteres Raumwunder
POST MODERN PUNCTURE
Doctors Office featured in a 1940 residential building
The Innsbruck Borough of Pradl witnessed extensive construction activity in the 1940s. Above all, the “Sonderaktion“ for immigrants from the southern Part of Tyrol - following the „Option“ Agreements of Nazi Germany with fascist Italy - had created demands for hundreds of flats to be erected in a Quarter south west of the River Sill. At that time in the Prinz Eugen Straße a long lane of residential buildings with 140 flats for civil servants working for the „Reich“ was built, including shops and a post office on the ground floor. This building complex, owned by the Austrian State after WW2, has been sold successively to private owners by the BUWOG in 2012. Initially the outskirts of the town, the area is now a much sought after centre - close residential area for a growing number of residents, there is a lot of extension, renovation and densification going on changing the character of the area. Helga Flotzinger’s plan for a doctor's office in the area is paying tribute to these changes. She has managed to add an air of ease and lightness to the heavy Nazi flair of the brown coated, brushed concrete of the initial edifice, creating a vital landmark of open and transparent architecture influencing the whole area.
The welcoming entrance with its fine lines, bridging the busy urban street to the office's interior reminds one of the airy elegance of a sailboat with its light, slim rails guiding one by a ramp and a platform, a sail- like tin roof and two porthole windows in the door complete this impression.
One can imagine Helga Flotzinger's use of a post modernist's freedom of storytelling by means of historicity and the use of materials and forms in a “Bricolage“ way. Also, the interior design is used according to this playfulness: A specially designed modular furniture concept consisting of wooden chests is fitting and contain the vast amount of medical equipment for two surgeries, a therapy room and the staff.
The chests can be stacked and arranged into a storage room for various medical instruments, as well as functioning as a hall for reception, a wardrobe and a waiting room for the patients. All imaginable medical apparatus, from the ECG to Syringe Disposals or towel dispensers can be hidden in this storage space, providing tidiness and helping optimize the organization of daily working procedures.
Spatial Miracle inside
From the outside, all one can see is a continuous pine plywood surface, delicately contrasted by the white laminate of tables, workspaces and some modular elements. The thoughtfully planned “airspace” is apt to create an atmosphere of peace and quiet in an otherwise complex room, a touch of open space despite a densely planned room: All the built-in cupboards, all the furniture elements do not exceed a height of 2,20 m.
Above this, is light and open view, the scene set by soundproof skylight windows and a ceiling free from cables or installations, so that one can see the outer room in its entirety from entrance down to the garden side.
This atmosphere is supported by a grid of 38 round shaped lights, creating both an atmosphere of orderliness and modern classical elegance on the inside and illuminating the urban outside of the façade in a friendly way.