Architecture is frozen music: this quote from Schopenhauer is probably known to every architect. The image can be extended to the new building of the Anton Bruckner Private University, whose striking slatted façade resembles a glissando on the harp.
Client: BEG Bruckner-Universitäts Errichtungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft, Linz
Architect: Architekturbüro 1, Linz
Location: Linz, Österreich
For ten years, Anton Bruckner University, located in Linz, was a music school without a real home; founded in 2004 as the successor to the local Bruckner Conservatory, its institutes were distributed over several locations in the city. Even then, they were plagued with a lack of space. To provide relief, the State of Upper Austria launched a single-phase, EU-wide architecture competition for the design of a new building in 2008. The local Architekturbüro 1 – already collaborating with the primary specialist planners – prevailed against 47 rivals. The competition’s jury compared the winning design with “a light curtain surrounded by old trees” and this is the first impression created by the new structure. It stands in the Urfahr district, on the right bank of the Danube and opposite the old town, at the foot of the Pöstlingberg. The school is surrounded primarily by houses and apartment buildings; the curved network of streets seems to follow the area’s topography rather than any imposed urban-planning concept. The architects seem to have taken up this idea in their new building: a 140-metre long, slightly U-shaped structure whose curvilinear façades undulate along their length. These façades, made of timber framework, were suspended in front of the reinforced concrete building. Subsequently, they were treated with white combed plaster applied over a substrate. From a distance, the high, rectangular windows can hardly be seen, for an outer façade layer of white aluminum slats envelops the building almost completely. The only exceptions here are the entries from the street to the north and the building-high, leaning post-and-mullion façade opening onto the park to the south. To one side, a broad flight of stairs leads up to an open-air terrace at the height of the first upper storey.