Parish Center Andorf
Design: [tp3] architekten
Location: Andorf, Oberösterreich
Year: Winter 2015
Photographer: Mark Sengstbratl
"The parish center had worn out and there have been considerations to renovate it for several years. Finally, the decision was made to address the issue. However, there were some challenges. We preferred to renovate the building rather than to rebuild it as the new building regulations of the diocese would not approve a new auditorium with the size of the old one. Moreover, the assignment of the diocese was not to increase the volume of the building. The building not only hat to be renewed with regards to its technique and insulation but also had to be adapted to today’s needs in terms of its room-sequence, staircase and façade.
The considerations were approached with a lot of commitment. A first draft was delivered by the building department of the diocese. The pastoral assistant developed an ambitious concept and the Parish Pastoral Council (PGR) dedicated a seminar to this topic. However, no satisfactory solution would emerge. One difficulty was that there was no competent person who could assess the proposed solutions with regards to their feasibility in technical and architectural terms. As another vote of the PGR remained without any perspective the situation was so obscure that we decided to participate in a workshop with [tp3] architekten. It was a venture as the parish had to pay the expenses of the workshop without knowing whether a solution could be found. What followed is a fascinating story of a successful joint building project. The workshop with two architects from the [tp3] office was very well attended by PGR members and diverse groups who were interested in the use of the parish center alike (Frauenbewegung, Jungschar, Kath. Jugend, Landjugend, theatre groups…). The three solutions suggested by the architects were vividly commented on and discussed. Initially, there were slight reservations towards plan C which even considered an extension of the building. However, until the evening everyone was convinced that only this version made sense and that the two other ones only were half-hearted compromises. In the PGR meeting everyone voted for this plan (even against the assignment not to enlarge the building). Since then the design has been changed in some aspects however, always with the full consent of all responsibles.
Today we are proud of the appealing facilities that have emerged from the worn out parish center. Plenty of positive feedback confirms our own perception, it is also reflected in the numerous bookings of the premises. In addition to the great atmosphere we are positively surprised how well the parish center now functions (wardrobe, bar, seating, cleaning ...).
There were many volunteers who ultimately contributed to the success of this project. However, the workshop gave the initial spark and delivered for the many helpers the unifying idea."