Residential Care Home Erika Horn – Dietger Wissounig Architekten

architect_ Dietger Wissounig Architekten
location_  Andritz, Austria
project year_ 2015
photography_ Paul Ott, Helmut Pierer, Simon Oberhofer

team_ Bettina Gossak-Kowalski, Patrick Steiner, Stephan Brugger, Vojka Mocnik, Thomas Wadl
structural planning_ Ziviltechnikerbüro DI Josef Koppelhuber
building physics_ Rosenfelder & Höfler Consulting Engineers Gmbh & Co KG
fire consulting_ Norbert Rabl Ziviltechniker GmbH
environmental_ Geolith Consult
electrical engineering_ Ogrisek & Knopper GmbH Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik
building technology_ DIEHAUSTECHNIKER Technisches Büro GesmbH

from the architects_

The residential care home Erika Horn has been constructed in Graz on a park-like plot in the immediate vicinity of the Andritzbach brook. The barrier-free passive house and sustainable building has no basement due to the challenging ground conditions and because of its location within the Andritz flood zone.
The two-storey building consists of four wings arranged around a semi-public “village square”, designed to host various events. This is also the location of the roofed vestibule, the central nurses’ station, an oratory, a cafe, a hairdresser as well as an open, tended atrium.
Three residential areas on the ground floor and four on the top floor host one carer and 15 residents each, primarily in single rooms, thereby creating a manageable and friendly atmosphere. A large common living area for each residential group, wide loggias and zoned gardens, some of which are suitable for dementia patients, on the ground floor and atria with tower galleries on the top floor serve as additional living zones. Special attention has been paid to ensure sufficient natural light floods the entire building.
The interweavement of the building with the outside space has been assigned particular significance. The green and open space was designed with the typology of the care home in mind and is based on a sequence of gardens, which differ in size and character. A particularly attractive space for recreation has been created by designing a wooden platform that juts out over the water which, together with the manifold zones of a manageable scale inside and around the building, generates a familiar yet invigorating atmosphere.
In 2015, the residential care home was certified with the EU-green building program, due to its special class of energy efficiency and its ecological construction.
The barrier-free passive house is a composite construction and features controlled domestic ventilation. Load-bearing ceilings and walls are made of concrete while all other structural elements are made of a renewable material: wood. The façade elements, each extending across two rooms, were prefabricated. During summer, the indoor climate could be kept cool by the suction of the exterior air via earth tube and during winter, the air could be kept warm with geothermic. The air-handling system measures the exterior and interior temperature and switches the suction via earth tube or suction via roof by itself. A central water heating with storage charging system was installed for the hot water production. For the heat generation a solar thermal plant with 80% efficiency was constructed for heating support of the gas heating on the roof. Additionally a photovoltaic power plant was built with an annual production of about 5000kW and a collector surface of 32 m².

Courtesy of Dietger Wissounig Architekten.