Courthouse and Public Square / Christian Kronaus + Erhard An-He Kinzelbach

© Thomas Ott

Architects: Christian Kronaus + Erhard An-He Kinzelbach
Location: , Austria
Project team: Sigrid Müller-Welt, Lukas Staudinger, Manuela Wind, Jakub Smagacz
General planner: ARGE Vasko+Partner Ingenieure and Kronaus Kinzelbach Architekten
Client: BIG Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
Project area: 2,633 sqm
Project year: 2007 – 2011
Photographs: Thomas Ott

© Thomas Ott

The project resulted from an open competition won by Architects Christian Kronaus and in collaboration with Vasko+Partner Engineers. The courthouse St. Pölten (Lower-Austria) asked for a building extension to house the higher regional court, district court and the state proscecutor’s office. In addition, it required a redesign of the representative public square in front of the historic courthouse building with a new parking garage underneath.

© Thomas Ott
site plan

At an urban scale, the new building closes the gap between the existing courthouse and the neighboring prison. The former is a landmarked building with three floors. A key challenge in the design of the extension was to find a solution that would respect the historical context and coherently connect old and new while, at the same time, treat the new building as a structure in its own right, rather than as a mere annex. The mediation between old and new does not only function in formal terms but also on a spatial and organizational level. In particular, a system was developed that efficiently connects the three storeys of the courthouse building with the five storeys in the new building while, at the same time, mediating between the differing ceiling heights.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Courthouse and Public Square / Christian Kronaus + Erhard An-He Kinzelbach" 01 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    looks like cheese with rectangular holes…:)…
    nice princeple for fasade indeed…

  • RL

    I think that from the inside those windows will get real tiresome, real fast.

  • Lateraal

    Why, oh God, why!?

  • drejer

    … and that’s one barren square. concrete boxes anyone?

  • OM

    Forget the elevation , corridors that,s it the concept!