260.856 Design Studio Under the Tracks
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2024S, UE, 4.0h, 5.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: UE Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to recognise infrastructures as an immanent component of cities and to understand the design of these as an architectural design task. They are generally informed about the prevailing dynamics of urban living space and, in particular, about the interrelationships and interdependencies between mobility, spatial, landscape and urban planning. Students should recognise that it is increasingly necessary to understand planning as a dynamic development process. They will have the skills to recognise fields of action in the urban context and to develop appropriate urban planning solutions at different scales. They are also able to work on complex design tasks in the field of urban planning independently and in groups, systematically and with a contemporary design approach based on a precise design language. Students are able to carry out independent research and prepare topic-related analyses. They are able to create design concepts and present these comprehensively in the form of strategy, concept and design plans.

Subject of course

The spaces under the Vienna's elevated railway lines have been used extensively since their construction. The shops, workshops, warehouses and studios originally located there were later joined by restaurants, bars, clubs and cultural centres. Parks, sports areas, footpaths and cycle paths and, over long stretches, car parking spaces have spread out beneath more recently constructed routes.

As part of the design project, we analyse the current state of these spaces under the tracks and discuss reference examples from other cities. Finally, we are looking for unused or underused spaces under Vienna's extensive railway network in order to develop proposals for a design that will enable the best possible integration of these infrastructures into their surroundings.

In the first phase, we use a predefined method to analyse selected spaces under Viennese railway lines, their embedding in the urban structure and their interaction with the surroundings - under the relatively new U1 and U2 lines as well as under the long-established Stadtbahn-lines (Gürtel and Vorortelinie). In addition, international reference examples (historical and current) that have been analysed using the same method will be discussed in order to compare them with the Viennese examples. We will analyse the following questions: What are the dimensions of spaces under elevated railway lines? How are the spaces under elevated railway lines in Vienna currently used and how are they designed? How are spaces underneath railway lines in other cities used and how are they designed? What functions can be located underneath busy railway lines?

Based on the results of the analysis phase, we will work together to develop a catalogue of design approaches and typical uses for spaces under railway lines. in the second phase of the design process, we will use the findings of the first phase to develop conceptual designs for spaces under Vienna's railway lines that are currently unused or represent barriers in the urban space. In doing so, we will pursue the following questions: What unused potential is hidden beneath Vienna's elevated railway lines? Where are unused spaces underneath elevated railway lines? Which uses and which architectural designs contribute to reducing the barrier effect of railway tracks in urban space? Using the test designs, we want to explore which tasks the spaces under the tracks could fulfil for the city in the future and what added value they could generate for their immediate surroundings.

Teaching methods

Phase 1: Comparative urban structural analyses (application of existing methods), detailed analyses (3D) of selected examples

Phase 2: Development of conceptual designs using the findings of the analyses

Mode of examination




Course dates

Tue09:00 - 13:0005.03.2024 - 28.05.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue09:00 - 13:0019.03.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue09:00 - 13:0009.04.2024 - 25.06.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue10:00 - 14:0014.05.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue09:00 - 21:0004.06.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue09:00 - 13:0018.06.2024Seminarraum AE U1 - 6 Korrektur
Design Studio Under the Tracks - Single appointments
Tue05.03.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue19.03.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue09.04.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue23.04.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue30.04.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue14.05.202410:00 - 14:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur
Tue28.05.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue04.06.202409:00 - 21:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur
Tue18.06.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 6 Korrektur
Tue25.06.202409:00 - 13:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 3 Korrektur

Examination modalities

The work is done in groups of two to three people. Proof of performance is provided by means of continuous work during the semester, attendance and participation during the joint correction appointments, as well as two presentations (analysis and draft) and a digital submission.


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Entwerfen Master / Künstlerische Projekte16.02.2024 09:0019.02.2024 12:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 443 Architecture Mandatory elective


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

It is assumed that participants of the course can create simple three-dimensional models in NURBS-based 3D programmes and can edit plans in CAD programmes and Adobe Illustrator.