Completion Date: December 2018


Eisernes Tor - Roof Extension, Graz, Austria
DI Strohecker ZT Gmbh

The goal of the proposed project is the extension of existing roof in order to accommodate further office space. The clients initial input was the desire for sophisticated expansion of their existing premises (situated on the last floor of the building).

Spacious and contemporary interiors should reflect their company ideals, whilst accommodating an array of different functions, ranging from individual basic work desk environment to the ‘state of the art’ equipped lecture rooms and conference halls.

Main driving force, from the client’s side, for the outer appearance, was a wish to leave a mark with a strong visual presence (‘we need an eye-catcher, something out of the ordinary’)

The project is placed in the heart of the old city of Graz, which is in itself under the UNESCO world heritage site protection. Furthermore it occupies a very prominent crossroad position, making it visually very present in the city centre. These overlying parameters made an appropriate design substantially challenging.

The proposed design aims at carefully balancing the line between making a bold, striking and contemporary stance, whilst preserving the old town character and appearance. Thus, the main forming guidelines come from the existing building, upon which the roof extension sits.

On its two main facades, the new roof mitigates avant-corps from underneath, interpreting them through a negative glass cut in the main volume. A vice versa approach is adopted for the corner avant-corps, where a new roof volume looms slightly over the existing structure.

Additionally it takes on the curvature of the old but twists it in a different direction. The main object volume, which encompasses three stories (one existing and two additional ones), is in its lower part pulled back, in order to free the frieze on the existing building.

The middle portion protrudes however back again, creating the prominent eaves. Further up (last storey) the roof reclines steeply away from the street, resulting in visually low appearance of the whole structure from the street level.

Entire new roof (apart from glass cuts) is to be cladded with perforated silver metal sheets, whose perforations follow the line of windows, making in turn a certain level of interaction between inside and outside.

Interior is designed pragmatically according to the needs of the client, with big open spaces and plenty of natural light. Roof openings provide additional light, while ensuring that the natural air flow is provided.

Combination of these parameters has resulted in an eye catching, contemporary structure, which serves the clients desire for clear visual marketing. On the other side it maintains the balance with the old, not interfering with its dominance.

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