Bringing a new way of living to Vienna

by Julie Humphryes

Cantilevering dramatically on top of a hill on the outskirts of Vienna, Philips Haus is a 1960s icon. Designed by the heroic Austrian modernist architect Karl Schwanzer (1918-1975), the 11 storey office building is a landmark well known to anyone approaching the city from the south.

When Schwanzer designed Philips Haus in 1962-64 for the Philips company, it was the first relocation of a large administrative office from the centre of Vienna to the outskirts of the city. Now the building is to be a pioneer again by bringing a radical new housing concept to the city – fully furnished micro apartments. We are delighted to have been appointed to design the conversion of the building into these apartments for art collector Norbert Winkelmayer, our client for the Sans Souci hotel in the centre of the city and the owner of the quirky Hundertwasser museum.

Archer Humphryes is creating 16 apartments on each of the 11 residential floors including five different apartment types. Our design adds some curvaceous interior forms to take away from the rigidity of the orthogonal grid and homage to the 1960’s design where plastic molding allowed a new expression in manufactured design of products. For the apartments we have rethought original Schwanzer furniture from the 1960s and are able to re-license the design with our modern overhaul and utilise these pieces within the project, along with other furniture items we have created for the concept.

Schwanzer designed Philips Haus before completing his best-known building, the BMW headquarters in Munich, a tower resembling a cluster of vertical cylinders. His other notable building in Vienna was the recently refurbished Museum of the C20th Century, now known as the 21er Haus. Originally designed as the Austrian Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair of 1958 before being relocated to the Swiss Garden in Vienna as a museum of modern art, it is a notable museum to visit in Vienna

The conversion is expected to take 2 years in this landmark building which will be at the heart of a regenerated quarter in Vienna with new transport links planned. It will launch in early 2017.



A beautiful and highly-illustrated coffee-table style book, Cool Contemporary Classic showcases and celebrates the work of award-winning, London-based practice, Archer Humphryes Architects, focusing on their exacting expertise in the design of luxury hotels, restaurants, residencies and resorts.

An opening design manifesto by practice Directors David Archer and Julie Humphryes and an introduction by Pamela Buxton (London-based architecture and design journalist) are followed by texts by Edwin Heathcote (architecture and design critic of The Financial Times), Jan-Carlos Kucharek (senior editor of the RIBA Journal and editor of its sister title Products in Practice).



The issue of gender inequality in architecture has been part of the profession’s discourse for many years, yet the continuing gender imbalance in architectural education and practice remains a dif cult subject. This book seeks to change that. It provides the rst ever attempt to move the debate about gender in architecture beyond the tradition of gender-segregated diagnostic or critical discourse on the debate towards something more propositional, actionable and transformative. To do this, A Gendered Profession brings together a comprehensive array of essays from a wide variety of experts in architectural education and practice, touching on issues such as LGBT, age, family status, and gender-biased awards.



In this book, 50 leading contemporary architects choose the 50 buildings that have inspired them and made a lasting impact on their own work. Interviewed by Pamela Buxton, with specially commissioned photography by Edward Tyler and Gareth Gardner, they describe their personal reaction to inspirational buildings from housing estates to castles and coal mines to cathedrals.

Based on the Inspiration series commissioned by architecture newspaper Building Design (bd), this book includes great work by leading architects and designers of the last century such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto, as well as lesser-known gems such as an asylum church in Vienna and ‘Lucy’, a building in the shape of an elephant. Other examples include Richard Rogers on Maison de Verre, Ted Cullinan on the Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, and David Archer of Archer Humphryes Architects at Otto Wagners’ chapel in Vienna.