The department store „Stafa“ on the Marhiahilfer Street was constructed in 1911 and looks back on an impressive history. The so-called „La Stafa“ (named after the owner of the Stafa AG in the 1920s) was redesigned in the 1980s and 1990s and was used as an office building and shopping centre with a vertical mall. However, it unfortunately only experienced a moderate economic success.
BEHF Corporate Architects have now modernized and refurbished the impressive nine-storey rotunda using a contemporary, future-orientated design of radical simplification while paying particular attention to quality and technical innovation. The structure and facade construction of the 1950’s Stafa department store provided the design initiative for the conversion.
The functional design concept separates the trade areas in the plinth area from the hotel space in the upper floors. The trading areas are accessible from the outside and are completed with the provision of internal stair cores. An open and welcoming ground floor with a consistent and characteristic window façade of the upper hotel floors was thus established.
Prefixed glass-sheds create a uniform appearance, providing acoustic protection and a maximum flexibility for the illumination and ventilation of the hotel rooms. This is carried out by using an innovative light deflection method that also reaches the rooms situated in the former atrium.
Both side wings of the rotunda were integrated in the whole building complex, taking urban development into consideration.The reliefs, made by the famous sculptor Anton Hanak were restored, preserving the original architecture and then carefully integrated into the new full thermal protection facades.
The project obtained a LEED Platinum certificate for it’s comprehensive sustainability concept, making it the oldest European building to receive such an award.
BEHF Corporate Architects have been working internationally for many years, with a special focus on hotels, restaurants, refurbishment, retail and residential construction. They became well known through projects for the Deutsche Bank and A1, the leading Austrian telephone company.
Recent projects include: the business centre „The Icon“ in cooperation with JSWD at the new Main Railway Station in Vienna, „Telegraf 7“ – the conversion of the former telegraph office as well as a new series of shopping centres both nationally and internationally.
Photography © 1996-2015 Bruno Klomfar