Alt-Erlaa: Architecture That Serves A Social Purpose — Social Housing That Looks & Feels Like Luxury Housing

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The development of Alt-Erlaa is one of the largest housing estates in Austria and is a city within a city with complete infrastructure representing a showcase of the functioning satellite town of the 70s.

The Alt-Erlaa complex in Vienna, Austria — a social housing complex built between 1973 and 1985 for low-income residents — provides 3,172 mostly family-friendly apartments (65% of homes with at least 3 bedrooms) and 3,400 underground parking spaces to approximately 10,000 occupants.

The arrangement of the apartments follows the concept of “stacked single-family home” in the form of terraced apartments. To complement this approach, up to the 12th floor planters also serve as a privacy screen. Every home has at least one balcony as private open space.

Beyond the basics, Alt-Erlaa also includes 2 clinics, 3 schools, 2 day care centers, 1 athletic facility, a church, an administrative building and a shopping mall. Alt-Erlaa also has its own rail station for traveling on Vienna’s public rail transport

On top of each of the 27-storey cascading blocks, there is an outdoor swimming pool used regularly by 70% of the residents. When too cold outside, they can use one of the several indoor swimming pools. There’s also a sauna, a solarium, and tennis and soccer courts. Of course, there is ample green space lush enough that one might forget they are in a city let alone a housing project block.


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