Statement of Intent
The Emptiness of the “Neue Heimat”
Vienna Providing Affordable Housing for All
Vienna’s effort to provide affordable housing for all newcomers wherever they are from is commendable. The town council has been promoting new housing projects since World War I. The prize winning architecture, over its lifespan often given a new lease of life with patterns of coloured paint, fails to remedy the shortcomings of housing estates found in many of the world’s big cities; they are filled with the emptiness of anonymity.
These photos are in part documentary, in part subjective. They consciously hold the middle ground between a realistic portrayal of modern Viennese architecture and a personal statement. A comment on a way of living where human occupation is only visible in minimalistic traces seen through windows or in balconies and the surrounding spaces are mostly used by dog lovers to walk their dog or commuters to traverse to work instead of facilitating intended play and development.
The work strives to hold up a mirror, stimulate reflection. We should encourage town councils and architects worldwide to a new level of creativity to establish future housing projects less barren and utilitarian and come up with new ideas for living quarters in which humanity might better thrive and develop from a social perspective. To build housing we all could easily call home. And maybe, just maybe, resulting in people less estranged from their environment.
“Neue Heimat” is difficult to translate but is roughly equivalent to “new place to call home”