Transparent and Ambigous

architect ARTEC / Bettina Götz, Richard Manahl
project The Zum Löwen Aspern Chemist's, Vienna, Austria
written by Gabriele Kaiser


Through the centre of Aspern, on the north east outskirts of Vienna, stretches a main road along which day after day rumbles the local commercial traffic; nevertheless, the rudimentary remains of a one-time rural or country structure can still be sensed. In this environment, to which its very difference imparts a certain charm, quite recently certain impulses towards structural revaluation have been observable; the new chemist’s called Zum Löwen von Aspern, or At the Aspern Lion stands out by its subtle transparency from the surroundings of the regular rural scene. The client, Wilhelm Schlagintweit, has not in his new building, called the experience chemist’s, the Erlebnisapotheke, made just a mere empty promise. The range of services that it offers greatly exceeds the ordinary supply of drugs; along with an advisory service for cosmetic, diet and wellness issues, there is on the roof of the chemist’s a garden of medicinal herbs accessible to the customers, where it is possible to obtain comprehensive advice in a natural setting of the problems of natural medicine, that is, of treatment with medicinal herbs.