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Follow the Adhesive Tape to Get Outside! – New Town Hall

Follow the Adhesive Tape to Get Outside! – New Town Hall

PROject by Mario Buchberger & David Rall

The New Town Hall is a public building. A location where weddings and balls are celebrated, exhibitions, congresses and seminars take place, in other words: a place of pre-corona time social contagion. In our expedition, we wanted to find out the extent to which the architecture and its provision invite to use the location this way. What is its accessibility like? Is the complex also a place where social contagion can currently take place in different ways?



During the first visit early in the morning, orientation inside the building proved to be difficult. A labyrinth of colorful marking lines on the floor and signs with references and prohibitions on the doors, supplemented with pieces of paper with information on the current corona safety rules, all reinforced our impression: Visitors to this place need to be guided in order not to lose orientation in the huge building complex with its many corridors, offices, and conference rooms. Absurdly enough, the abundance of visual signs made us experience the exact opposite: a feeling of being lost, lacking orientation, and having no access.


for us was the “outside” of the building that we only discovered by chance since no guidance system leads there: The New Town Hallhas a huge green terraced roof landscape with a wonderful view of the Danube and the historic city. Beyond that, there are several hidden internal courtyards with interesting acoustics. Conversations with employees revealed that roadside access to the terraces had not been possible for years so as to “exclude” nightly disturbances by homeless people or revelers. Visitors have since only been able to get to these charming areas by going through the building, and only during opening hours.While exploring the internal courtyards, we noticed that noises coming from its centers were very clearly audible on other floors. The courtyards, with their receding balcony elements, reminded us of theater galleries, especially the Globe Theatre in London with its inward looking open-air stage. Structure and acoustics inspired us to ideas for new ways of utilization that could be exciting for this “public building”: public events, concerts, and open air stage plays, with the audience able to observe the events from the galleries. What a potential for “social contagion”!


We wondered: Why does the entire communication – signs, references, and all other guidance systems –focus exclusively on the “inaccessible” interior: on the ground floor with its registration and the cold offices on the upper floors? Why should the path markings offer orientation help only for the interior spaces when –all the more because of the corona pandemic –the “outside”, the internal courtyards, present attractive destinations? We decided to expand the guidance system of the New Town Hall so the building’s places of well-being would become visible: The floor markings were clandestinely expanded with a white adhesive tape that would lead the visitors from the corridors to the internal courtyards –to the outside. Out into the open air!