Point Blocks in Innsbruck
Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, lies in the broad valley of the River Inn surrounded by mountains. The urban settlement has long spread beyond the walls of the medieval city and threatens to engulf the idyllic natural surroundings. Considerable political determination was necessary todesignate one of the few remaining undeveloped areas in a good location for publicly assisted housing. The Lohbach scheme is situated on the western outskirts of the city, close to the wooded foothills of the mountains. The six compact blocks are offset to each other in a chequerboard pattern and staggered in height towards the hillside to allow a maximum amount of sunshine to enter the courtyards. Continuous balconies around the outside provide protected outdoor spaces. Despite the high density of the development, the many surprising views in all directions establish close links with the landscape. Solar collectors and controlled ventilation of the dwellings are but two aspects of the innovative mechanical services concept, which has hitherto been applied only in much smaller schemes. The simplification and standardization of the main elements that influence construction costs allowed the specification of high-quality materials and a standard of finishings that is unusually good for publicly assisted housing.