Extraordinary shapes, dynamically flowing lines and outward-facing eyes – bubbles – create a contemporary, architectural flair right in the middle of the Gründerzeit facades of the Graz old town. With ARGOS, the city of Graz underscores its architectural vision together with project developer WEGRAZ, and once again backs up its reputation as an architecture stronghold.
„My buildings promise optimism. In any case, I believe that I can express something in the architecture, something that we don’t suspect is possible – an order of things, a different view of the world.“
As early as 2004, the great architect Zaha Hadid won the international competition initiated by WEGRAZ for the development of the area in the historic Graz inner city. After years of coordination work with the old town expert commission and urban planning, the ground-breaking finally took place in 2015.
ARGOS, the name of the project, says it all. The generously dimensioned window elements protruding from the facade are reminiscent of the proverbial eyes of Argos, the mythical giant with its countless eyes, some of which are always open. Some of the “bubbles” are integrated as an extension to the room, so you can move from the living room directly into the window curvature and quasi immerse yourself in the city life from there.
Zaha Hadid, the champion of contemporary design art
Zaha Hadid was the grande dame of architecture – her name alone is a statement. She gained international prominence not only because she was the first-ever woman to be awarded the world’s most notable architecture prize, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She also left her grand architectural mark on the world – and in Austria as well where she taught for 15 years at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. The Bergisel Ski Jump and the Hungerburgbahn funicular in Innsbruck as well as the Learning Centre of the Vienna University of Economics originate from her pen. With ARGOS, another chapter of Zaha Hadid’s Austrian history is being written – probably the last, due to her tragic death in the spring of 2016. Her intellectual work comes to life through the realisation of her plans, and the project creates an eternal architectural monument to the great designer in the heart of downtown Graz.
* 1950 in Bagdad, † 2016 in Miami
„Zaha Hadid’s most striking stylistic feature is her dynamically flowing lines. A complex web of ideas, lines and shapes.“