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Alive and in the Thick of Things

New Village and Municipal Center in Lanzenkirchen, Lower Austria

Competition with preliminary and collaborative phases, 1st Prize

[EN] Gemeindezentrum Lanzenkirchen

Lanzenkirchen, picturesquely situated near the town of Wiener Neustadt, is a quiet little market community with market down status and just under 4,000 inhabitants. A village center in such places traditionally consists of a church plus a rectory, an inn, a municipal building, a small grocery store, and a Raiffeisenbank branch.

A village that’s recognizable as such needs no “entering” and “leaving” signs along the road.

A familiar saying

An identity-forming core of just this type is now being created in the form of a new municipal center in Lanzenkirchen, which will include spaces for shops and apartments. The church and inn have already been there since time immemorial.

This village’s municipal offices, bank branch, and shops, on the other hand, have been in the wrong places, so they’re now being given a new location. The municipality of Lanzenkirchen wanted to go for a more dense structure – and to this end, they decided against putting up a disconnected greenfield development and in favor of a central village square.

[EN] Gemeindezentrum Lanzenkirchen

Small-Scale and Flexible

In order to create a village square with the right qualities, we decided to put up two buildings – designed as an elongated bar-shape and a square point block structure, respectively – in a staggered arrangement. Together with the old church, the rectory, the Bauernmuseum, and the inn across the way, this ensemble now constitutes a small square that features a narrow lane running straight through its center.

In a modern municipality, it goes without saying for public facilities to be open and both close and accessible to local inhabitants – and this should be felt in how space is used.


Lanzenkirchen’s resident population is growing slowly but steadily, for which reason we’ve made all floor plans very flexible in terms of potential uses. They’re equally well suited for use as commercial spaces, offices, medical practices, and apartments. And beneath the municipal offices, the flexible row of spaces initially designed as shops with display windows facing the main road can be adapted according to users’ needs.

One fixed quantity will be an event and community center at the end of the lane through the village square that communicates directly with the space outside and the lane itself. This is a place for municipal meetings, celebrations, weddings, and music groups’ rehearsals for their next concerts.

New Village and Municipal Center in Lanzenkirchen, Lower Austria
Floor plan – ground floor

New Village and Municipal Center in Lanzenkirchen, Lower Austria
Sections and elevations

Shops and a Medical Center

We put the Raiffeisenbank, popularly known as the “Raika” and something of an institution in rural Austria, on the ground floor of the point block building across from the municipal offices. As requested, it’s been given a generous display window facing the square.

We’d like to have space for a weekly open market, a café with outdoor seating, and a place for public celebrations!


The mayor, based in the municipal offices in the long bar-shaped building, works on the first floor up with a view over the square. His or her work is transparent and visible to the community.

New Village and Municipal Center in Lanzenkirchen, Lower Austria
Floor plan, upper level

An Exciting Mixture

We’ve included seven efficiently organized and affordable apartments on the point block building’s second floor up. If needed, they can also be expanded into the level directly below, which is been designed to initially house the medical center.

We thought that multiple maximally diverse types of dwellings (including small but complete starter apartments) would make for an interesting mix of housing options. They all represent affordable living space for this community’s young residents – at least until they can afford to build their own houses (perhaps with a mortgage from the Raika?).

New Village and Municipal Center in Lanzenkirchen, Lower Austria
Site plan


Type of commission

EU-weit, nicht offener Wettbewerb

Scope of commission

Gesamte Planung




Marktgemeinde Lanzenkirchen und NÖ Wohnbaugruppe - WET


Lanzenkirchen, Niederösterreich






In Bearbeitung

Net usable floor area

2.470 m²

Gross floor area

3.090 m²

Building costs

4,2 Mio. €


Florian Haim (PL), Eva Fischer (PL), Carina Keller


Structural engineer

Eduard Kraus

Building physics

Eduard Kraus

Building services

Technisches Büro Obkircher

Landscape planning

3:0 Landschaftsarchitektur