2024 Revisited / Austria / Built in 2009 /

In the framework of the plant expansion project at Alpla Werke Hard / Mockenstraße in Hard (…) a meticulously crafted employee courtyard has been envisioned, epitomizing a seamless fusion of practicality.

The courtyard, envisioned as a representative multifunctional space, serves as a sanctuary for relaxation and social interaction during work breaks, as well as a venue for company gatherings and festivities. At its center there is a captivating water basin, as a three-part ellipse, featuring varying water levels tailored to accommodate marsh sedge, narrow-leaved bulrush, and water lilies. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the water basin functions as a retention area, augmenting the courtyard’s cooling dynamics.
Adding to this focal point, strategically placed Robinia trees provide natural shade, creating a serene atmosphere, while a well-placed sun sail offers relief from the sun’s intensity. The design also incorporates a winding path around the water basin, seamlessly transitioning into a square, making navigation through the lush space effortless.

An emphasis on sensory engagement is evident in the choice of gravel surfacing, which diverges from conventional hard surfaces, inviting tactile exploration and fostering a deeper connection with the environment.

Central to the project’s vision is the integration of the sponge city principle, embodying a philosophy of ecological resilience and sustainability. Rooted in the notion of a sponge city, this approach facilitates filtration and evaporation, promoting a dynamic equilibrium between the built environment and nature. The courtyard thus emerges as a living organism, perpetually engaged in a symbiotic relationship with its surroundings.

Later, the green courtyard underwent a recent structural enhancement, with the addition of a new white communal pavilion. Placed on the western edge, it now serves as a hub for employee gatherings and meetings, transforming former parking spaces into lively communal areas.

Ultimately, the Alpla Werke Hard courtyard offering a peaceful retreat with a high quality of living space for people amidst the industrial setting.


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