Innovative and unique: Austrian architecture firm A01 architects
Text: Marilena Stracke | Photos: A01 architects
T he dynamic team around A01 founders Maria Planegger and Andreas Schmitzer uses a unique and sometimes experimental design language to create high-end extraordinary architecture, which not only stands out visually but also ticks all the required boxes in terms of functionality.
A building is not just a building. It is a way to express personality, to identify and create a sense of belonging, or to serve a specific purpose to perfection. There are many so reasons why architecture has always played a major role in our society and for the two founders of A01 architects, Maria Planegger and Andreas Schmitzer, it is therefore absolute key to creatively merge individuality with function.
Back in the day, Planegger and Schmitzer both studied architecture at the Technical University of Vienna. During a workshop about architecture held by Professor Günther Domenig at a summer academy in Salzburg, Planegger and Schmitzer met each other for the first time and quickly discovered their similar professional interests and design approach.
At the beginning of their career they both focused on interior design. During their conversations in those early days they discovered that they were both very passionate about advanced design solutions, which would become the foundation for their future work together. And indeed, from then on, the two formed a fantastic team, complementing each other perfectly and successfully building their company from scratch.
Today, over twenty years later, Planegger’s and Schmitzer’s high-end architecture office A01 stands for innovative architectural solutions and has become highly specialised in sophisticated residential properties as well as in industrial construction. Their extensive portfolio is an impressive testimony to their general architectural expertise.
“We are dedicated to a form of architecture which creates a special perception of a space and optimises the quality of the surroundings,” explains Andreas Schmitzer on their approach. “Our goal is to combine individual requirements with the given local circumstances. In many ways you could say it is like designing a made-to-measure suit.” But a top-quality statement suit you can actually live in.
Over the decades, the successful architecture duo has realised a great range of different projects, always dedicated to designing elaborate spatial scenarios. From apartment buildings, production facilities and interior designs to offices and even exhibition designs, the company has established itself firmly in their industry and enjoys an excellent reputation far and wide.
“Since we designed the first single-family houses back in the 1990s, we have been continuously working within the private housing sector.” adds Andreas Schmitzer. “But we also have clients who are commercial property developers in the field of residential building. To individualise the living space is as important when it comes to a one-bed flat as it is for a suburban sophisticated villa. We also always like to offer to design the interiors as well.” That way the entire project can follow a coherent design language inside and out.
So far, the largest project by A01 architects is the impressive residential tower ‘Danube flats’ in Vienna. The high-rise residential building with its breathtaking height of 155 metres will lead the way in redefining the Vienna skyline at the New Danube area significantly. The project initiated a public discourse about Vienna’s approach to ‘modern living’ in an expanding city. The final concept featuring this new and unique type of residential tower by A01 architects brought a lot of recognition and media coverage for Schmitzer, Planegger and their talented team.
The stunning tower is currently under development and supposed to be finished in 2020. It will feature hundreds of apartments, a kindergarten and a medical centre as well as shops and restaurants. The overall floor space measures an impressive 54,500 square metres and, all in all, the residential tower promises to be a wonderful location throughout.
“Thanks to this stepped tower building with over 600 flats, a completely new type of residential housing will be introduced to Vienna – one that the historical city was not able to offer to its citizens before,” says Andreas Schmitzer. “The tower cluster that is currently in development on the Danube Island, will create a brand new kind of modern Vienna with an incredibly high quality of living. The location right by the water is as relaxing as it is unique in Vienna.” The Danube Flats is certainly a project of superlatives and without a doubt there will be more news about it in the upcoming years.
Aside from the Danube Flats, A01 architects recently worked a lot within the industrial construction sector. A different set of requirements is the focus for this kind of architecture: Understanding the specific workflow of a company and incorporating that knowledge when it comes to designing the space as well as defining the client’s corporate identity and translating it into an architectural concept.
The production facility of Schiebel, an Austrian manufacturer of electronic devices, is an example of the architects’ expertise in this field.
All of the designs by A01 architects, exterior as well as interior, are striking and filled to the brim with character. The team often works with innovative materials and uses new technical methods. Light, shapes and perspective play major roles in their creation of statement architecture and interior designs, which are stylistically confident and modern, yet never too overpowering. It is hard to dismiss a concept by these talented partners as anything but stunning.
Ambition and the genuine drive for excellence fuels the experts at A01, who never shy away from a new challenge. Embracing the given local circumstances of a project and hence turning even difficult surroundings into a beneficiary factor is the never-ending mission at the Viennese architecture firm. Their genuine passion and a great sense for detail are evident in all their projects.
Architecture in itself is without a doubt an art form of its own and the two founders of A01 architects, Maria Planegger and Andreas Schmitzer, are mastering this art to perfection.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email