Arial view of future building site C.21
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Vienna, sometime in early January. I am on my way to visit the site of what might be a red herring for Vienna’s public housing model. Colleagues currently consider Atelier-House C.21, designed by Werner Neuwirth and Robert Hahn, to be the blueprint for an experimental alternative to public housing. Even Vienna’s International Building Exhibition (IBA), with its theme of “New Social Housing,” due to open in 2022, has embraced the project and its two protagonists, asking them to curate a series of talks around C.21’s concept of Lebensräume (living spaces). As a private initiative and having not receiving any public subsidy, C.21’s architectural ambition, use of materials, and inner organization offers the prevailing idea of what housing is, and how Vienna’s city officials, and housing developers in general, think people must live, for critical reflection ...