Design Studio Brandl

DORF/STUDIO Übersaxen: Village Center+

Supervisor: Prof. Anne Brandl

Assistant: Martin Mackowitz 


What future do villages have in an urbanized world? What makes village culture in the 21st century special? Which perspectives and potentials can rural areas still offer if more and more people move from the countryside to metropolitan areas or agglomerations? How can villages counter the depopulation and demographic ageing? How can a lively village centre be initiated in order to strengthen the attractiveness of the location, quality of life and social cohesion?
The community of Übersaxen in Vorarlberg – 660 inhabitants – will be confronted with these and other questions in the future. With the definition of a community development concept the village wants to be prepared for the future. In close cooperation with central stakeholders of Übersaxen the Studio will approach the question how urban development and architecture can contribute to a revitalisation of the village. The aim is to further develop the spatial potential of the community and to find design strategies that strengthen the social existence of Übersaxen and activate local engagements.
Upcycling in our context means the activation and revitalisation of the building culture, the spatial and social stock. Based on the consideration of the entire community with regard to the topics mobility, tourism, local supply, housing forms we will focus on the revitalisation of the village centre. Here it is necessary to find new uses for the former hotel and restaurant “Krone”, to enhance the design of the village square and to find spatial and functional solutions for public and private transport.
One year after the Stadt/Studio was implemented as a for an experimental urban acting, it is changing its scale and context. The Stadt/Studio becomes a Dorf/Studio. The active involvement of the village population through common perceptual walks, surveys and the participation in information evenings are an essential part of the Dorf/Studio. Simultaneous thinking and designing in different scales, models, urban interventions and hands-on ideas are further methods for our search for strategies, concepts and “rural” design solutions for a village that wants to have a future in an urbanized world.