syntax architektur - Making a splash, so radically different to expectations
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Making a splash, so radically different to expectations

syntax architektur

Landscape  /  Completed
syntax architektur

The public bath next to the branch of the river Danube was erected in the 1920ies. Historical photographs show a buzzing social hotspot with lots of recreational activities. The brief of the project started with the restauration of the terrace in front of the existing eateries and cafés originating from the 1960ies. Due to the regular flooding of the Danube, the terrace was built 1,30m above the surrounding wetlands. The extensions, modifications and adaptions led to an unrewarding patchwork of disconnected, idle spaces and the elevated terrace appeared like a barrier.

It quickly turned out, that the new design had to be considered in a more holistic way to revive the locality in retrospect to the history of it.

The result is a geometricized landscape, which uses the difference in level to its advantage and connects the surrounding visually and physically through paths and stairs - from the extent of the river with its natural beaches to the near range of the swimming pool. Lawns for sunbathing with wooden platforms, rocks and seating landscapes along the outdoor stairs invite to linger without obligation for consummation – new cheerful hot spots occur. Trees, umbrellas and awnings provide for sufficient shade in the ever hotter summers.

All these assembled elements create an environment which is open to different usages, and which invites everyone to experience the space individually.

Rather than building a terrace with concrete, which seals the surface, we decided to build a landscape with natural materials from the area. This way the water is retained and the occasional flooding is less harmful. The terrace and pathways are covered with cobblestones laid in sandy grit material, which allows the water to be absorbed quickly.

The rocks and timber for the platforms are both locally sourced.

As a further measure, the building and it's façade was gently restored to revive the original, charming and airy flair of the 1960ies.

After the first season in use, it was well visible, that the project was highly successful in anticipating and realizing both the social and individual needs.

It's current design is contemporary and more inviting to all ages and has been re-established as the best recreational meeting place in town - like it used to be in former times. A place to treat yourself in various ways.

All the details big and small enjoy great acceptance from the users. The landscape of stairs right at the entrance is the perfect area to wait for friends and eat ice cream. The children love climbing on the rocks whereas the adults use them for drying their wet bathing suits. Even the lawn edges, that add a nice structural element, can be used for balancing on, as do the round bollards. The platforms are usually already occupied early in the morning and are perfect for lingering, resting, people watching and communicating.

Finally the terrace attracts young and old to drink coffee, refuel and enjoy the beautiful views all sheltered from sun by big umbrellas, awnings and trees.

syntax architecture proposed a design, that was so radically different to our expectations, that we were surprised, yet we immediately fell in love with it. Similarly to our reaction, the public was sceptical at first, for change to occur to such a historically established and beloved place, but quickly recognized the positive transformation of this beautiful redesign.


 Municipality of Klosterneuburg
 public bath and restaurant
 3100 mq
  570,000.00 €
 Michael Barth, Martina Barth Sedelmayer, Karin Garcia, Alexander Spauwen
 syntax architektur zt gmbh
 Herta Hurnaus


Syntax architecture was founded in 2006 by Michael Barth, Martina Barth Sedelmayer and Alexander Spauwen.
„Syntax” in its original meaning stands for compilation and is the essence of the syntax architecture team. Our team culminates an array of skills, which is fostered through respect, open-mindedness, commitment and passion.
Rather than finding a form, the quality of work is established by the transformational implementation of functional and structural solutions. A successful project values the needs of people and integrates them within the concept and design. All projects are deeply rooted in the local context and reinforce the genius loci.
As idea, form, structure, organisation and function are interwoven, it´s essential to get the ideal balance between these factors – to find the „syntax” of the project.

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