Hotel facility at Lendplatz Graz, new building, completion 2006

Graz was named the European Capital of Culture in 2003. This distinction is primarily based on an unusually harmonious and historically intact total picture of the commercial city on the Mur. The landscape and the city combine to form an ensemble. Modernity was strewn into the historic old town and along the banks of the river in the course of becoming the Capital of Culture in the form of several new buildings with a futuristic impression as a counterpoint.

The present design for the Lendplatz realised from 2004 to 2006 can be understood more as a continuation of an already existing state of mind. Especially since the Lendplatz, together with the Hauptplatz and the Griessplatz, with a clear view of the Schlossberg, forms a framework of memory for residents and can hardly be freshened up with “daring”, “futuristic” or simply “modern” approaches. The typical ground plan forms of the Graz squares are more like streets expanded in a funnel form, with the possibility to intensify commerce and encounters in a varying play between narrow alleys.

The realisation of the hotel facility arose from the search for existing Graz characteristics in an extensive cycle of more than a hundred sketches and drawings. Analogous with the history of the city, the sketches for the façades and the courtyard facility pass through many approaches to the conceivable, extending from antiquity to the most recent and renowned urban expansion of the 19th century. The design ultimately built provides for monastery-shaped courtyard development and a façade design in beige and light blue that is unusual but was quite common in Graz of the 19th century.

Lendplatz, Graz