Behind the Slightly Visible Lies the Invisible Plenty

architect Ernst Beneder
project Urban Project, Waidhofen, Austria
written by Vera Grimmer


A holistic approach – the entire city as the object of the architect’s research


In his centrally located studio high above the Viennese rooftops, a hundred or so steps away from St. Stephen’s cathedral, the architect Ernst Beneder is sufficiently remote from his building-work province, Lower Austria, in order for these opposing poles to bring a special tension to his projects. The architect is especially devoted to his hometown Waidhofen, the renovation, or modernisation, of which he has been conducting as a long-term project.


The historical town of Waidhofen, situated in a narrow river valley, was mentioned as a city for the first time in 1288. This dense urban structure between ramparts on a hillock rib, above the river gorge, is characterised by two-way urban “voids”. The upper and the lower city squares, the city hall, and the reconstruction of the banks of the River Ybbs, are the completed part of the holistic Urban Project, which is being conducted by Beneder as a “work in progress”. The second part, as yet unfinished, is the traffic infrastructure: the construction of the bus terminal and a four-storey garage.