Creating a framework - A spatial analysis and twelve design recommendations for Krems-East

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INDEX Introduction 5 Film and booklet 6 Film and atmosphere 7 Outstanding universal values 10 The Wachau is a Gesamtkunstwerk


Krems-East is a cabinet of curiosities 12 Zoning: selection process 16 Functions bleeding over 18 Gesamtkunstwerk 22 The Donauuferbahn 23 Disposition of UNESCO 24 Expanding beyond spatial barriers 28 Arbeitskreis zum Schutz der Wachau


Lerchenfeldsiedlung 33 Infrastructure clashes with housing 34 Dealing with history 36 Missed chances and underdeveloped places 38 Twelve recommendations to develop Krems-East 42 L - Wachau 43 M - Krems-East 44 S - Lerchenfeldsiedlung 45 Conclusion 48 Notes 49 Acknowledgements 50

WACHAU VALLEY UNESCO protected heritage Project location


INTRODUCTION Krems is divided into two distinct parts. One part is historic and picturesque. It is the beginning of the of Wachau valley, UNESCO world heritage. The other part is a mixture of modern industry, commerce and housing, described as Krems-East. I was invited to Krems as an artist in residence by ORTE - Architekturnetzwerk Niederรถsterreich. During the residence I explored this strong division. How did these two distinct landscapes develop in such close vicinity? How do they relate? And can the qualities of the two landscapes be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship?




FILM AND BOOKLET The main way in which I explored Krems was through film. The exploration resulted in the short film “Painting a picture: on the fringe of world heritage”. The making of the film required a GIS-analysis, expert interviews, research into the history of the region and literature reviews. The research determined the shot selection, sequencing and narrative of the film. During the making of the film numerous design proposals were developing in the back of my head. This booklet repurposes the research done for the film to make a case for some of these proposals, like the reintroduction of an alluvial forest in Krems-East. The booklet makes explicit the processes and spatial forms of the region, and as such it stimulates a discourse of planological and architectural development.


Although film and booklet relate, the booklet should not be read as an explanation of the film. The short film “Painting a picture” stimulates a different discourse than the booklet. The film conveys my embodied experience of the atmospheres of Krems-East and explores how this experience is shaped (in part) by the relationship between Krems-East and the Wachau. The film may reveal different aesthetic experiences to different viewers. The richness of film as a notational tool contributes to a discourse of the atmospheric qualities of Krems-East. Making the ‘meaning’ of the film too explicit will take away from this discourse. The film and the booklet should therefore be viewed as two separate products deriving from the same body of research (see diagram below).



FILM AND ATMOSPHERE A central concept in both the booklet and the film is ‘atmosphere’. German philosopher Gernod Böhme describes atmosphere as the ‘character’ of a space, something perceived unconsciously and instantaneously. It is based on the coming together of our bodily sensory experience and our thoughts and memories. An atmosphere puts us in a mindset that influences all our conscious perceptions and interpretations of a space after this first perceptive moment1. The primary medium that was used to explore the east of Krems was film. Film, much like atmosphere, brings together the bodily sensory experience and thoughts and memories. It is therefore a useful tool for mediating atmospheres. On the one hand film creates an almost firsthand bodily presence for the viewer through a process called proprioception, a sort of second hand bodily experience. On the other hand film creates a narrative that can transplant memories and thoughts2.

By analyzing and describing the atmospheres of Krems-East, including all its newly developed fringe areas and exploring their relations to their surroundings I intend to play a role in the preservation of the more ephemeral qualities of Wachau and of Krems as a qualitative environment for living. Film is an empowering tool. It can be used as a foundation for discussion with almost everyone. Unlike more traditional architectural media such as plan drawings or sections, understanding film does not require previous knowledge or formal design education. One thing that becomes clear in this booklet is that Krems-East needs advocates to put its spatial issues on the map. I hope my film, as well as this booklet, can play a part in the process of emancipating Krems-East.





OUTSTANDING UNIVERSAL VALUES To protect and preserve world heritage sites, UNESCO works with the concept of OUV’s (Outstanding Universal Values). These values are specific to each heritage site. The OUV’s are defined in the nomination document to become a UNESCO world heritage site by the local applicants. The UNESCO world heritage status is awarded based on the OUV’s and the UNESCO status can be taken away when the OUV’s are not maintained. On the UNESCO website the OUV’s of the Wachau cultural landscape are as follows: “Criterion (ii): The Wachau is an outstanding example of a riverine landscape bordered by mountains in which material evidence of its long historical evolution has survived to a remarkable degree. Criterion (iv): The architecture, the human settlements, and the agricultural use of the land in the Wachau vividly illustrate a basically medieval landscape which has evolved organically and harmoniously over time.”3

These values are imprecise, generic and leave the Wachau cultural landscape vulnerable to stasis.


Overly generic or imprecise OUV’s can be used to prohibit necessary new developments4. A good example of this is the Dorset and East Devon coast UNESCO site. Its OUV’s describe it as “defined by natural processes” and “little impacted by human development”5. The description was meant to indicate a lack of coastal settlements. However, the OUV’s were invoked by a local council to reject the fardeveloped construction plans for a wind-farm 10km off the coast of Devon. The wind-farm could have been a sustainable power source for the inhabitants of the region Precisely described OUV’s allow designers to make proposals for the integration of necessary new developments that respect and maintain the qualities of a site6. Of course, UNESCO heritage should not be open to unbridled development. But many of the approximately 30,000 inhabitants of Melk and Krems live in the Wachau. These inhabitants have modern needs that need to be met in order to keep the area livable. On the long term, a lack of development caused by imprecise OUV’s will be detrimental to the valley.

THE WACHAU IS A GESAMTKUNSTWERK An offhand sentence in the 1999 UNESCO nomination document perhaps describes the Wachau cultural landscape best. It describes the Wachau as “a big and lively Gesamtkunstwerk”7. The term Gesamtkunstwerk (translated best as ‘total work of art’) was used by the composer Richard Wagner to describe a work of art where different elements and art-forms are combined into a single ensemble.8 The use of this term in the UNESCO nomination document makes sense considering the valley’s history of Romanticism. In the early 1880’s Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts took annual summer trips to the valley. Many of the students that joined later established the “Wachau Künstlerbund”, a community of Romantic painters that lived and worked in the Wachau. The group had popular exhibitions in Vienna. Since these exhibitions coincided with the construction of a train line between Vienna and the Wachau, many Viennese went on to visit the region. The Wachau would not be the touristic landscape it is today without its representation in Romantic painting9.

Romantic art focused on emotions, feelings, and moods. For the romantic painters it was not the architecture of a specific time period that made the Wachau valley special, but the mishmash of historic styles that give the valley the appearance of being ‘Historic’ without being placed in a distinct time period. Idiosyncratic elements of the valley, like the many castle ruins and abbeys, could be added in the background of a painting to strengthen an air of mystery, invoke nostalgia or create the ‘sublime’. This means that the qualities of the Wachau valley flow forth from the collective experience architectures and the landscape made by different people at different times. Many of the buildings and different landscapes are used and cultivated because of everyday processes that support the existence of the region. Viticulture, infrastructure and housing. The stasis caused by the generic OUV’s will over time not only affect the living qualities of the inhabitants. It also stops the processes that formed the ephemeral, aesthetic qualities that lead to the UNESCO status of the Wachau in the first place.


KREMS-EAST IS A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES Krems-East is a mirror image to the Wachau. It is an area characterized by a vast number of autonomous elements. Many of these elements create their own interesting aesthetic experiences. However, they do no lead to a pleasant overall atmosphere like the Wachau. For example, the crane in the harbour is a spectacular sight (see next page) people often stop to look as it unloads cargo from ships. However, the interaction of the crane with the nearby distribution centre and furniture shops makes Krems-East feel like a neglected, unwelcoming place oriented towards business and mobility. Krems-East can best be described as a cabinet of curiosities. The classic cabinet of curiosities emerged in the sixteenth century. These were cabinets or entire rooms in which rulers and aristocrats, members of the merchant class and early practitioners of science in Europe formed collections of objects that suited their interest. The objects were varied, belonging to natural history, ethnography, geology, archaeology, religious or historical relics and works of art.


Many collectors did not care too much about cohesion, or whether their objects were authentic or of actual scientific significance. What mattered most was the aesthetic experience of the different objects. However, the cabinets of curiosity were not completely random. The collectors usually had specific interests and would collect objects based on themes. This part of the metaphor can be extended to Krems- East. The cabinet of curiosities of KremsEast has a number of zones that collect thematically related objects: The riverfront, the harbour, the housing of the Lerchenfeldsiedlung and Landersdorf, the industrial production sector and areas of commerce and distribution. Images of each area are shown in a number of spreads throughout the booklet.

Housing Industry/Production Riverfront Commerce and distribution Harbour






ZONING: SELECTION PROCESS FOR THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES The cabinet of curiosities of KremsEast is largely the result of the Krems zoning regulations. Many of the ‘shelves’ of the cabinet of curiosities coincide with the different planological zones. The riverfront is zoned as Grünland – Sportstätte. I presume mainly because of the bike route that runs along the Danube between Vienna and Melk. The housing area consists of a patchwork of different zones. The actual housing falls under Bauland Wohn- oder Mischnutzung, additional services that support a livable neighborhood like sport-fields, schools and shops are ensured through the zones: Bauland – Sondergebiet, Bauland - Handelseinrichtung Grünland – Gärtnerei, Grünland Kleingarten and Grünland – Sportstätte (some of these are too small to be visible in the map on the right).


Other ‘shelves’ in the cabinet of curiosities like the harbour, industry zone and commerce and infrastructure zone fall into the same zoning designation; Bauland Betriebsnutzung. Each of these ‘shelves’ stems from a different time. The harbour dates from the 1930’s, with many alterations made afterwards. The industry site developed slowly, with the Voestalpine factory being the first development in the 1940’s and the chemical factory from 2003 being the latest addition. Much of the commerce and infrastructure spaces have come into being very rapidly since the turn of the century. It shows that as a planological tool, the Bauland - Betriebsnutzung zone misses precision. The aesthetic experience and use of the zone is mostly determined by economic market processes shifting over time.

Bauland Wohn - oder Mischnutzung Bauland - Sondergebiet Bauland - Handelseinrichtung Bauland - Betriebsnutzung Grßnland - Sportstätte



FUNCTIONS BLEEDING OVER The imprecise zoning mechanism has led to a wide variety of functions in Krems-East. In itself this diversity is not a bad thing. It leads to new spatial forms and aesthetic experiences. However, without proper implementation the variety of functions leads to problematic spatial development and friction between different uses. Especially the area where housing and industrial functions meet have a lot of these frictions (see map).


It is hard to precisely summarize the friction between industry and housing, as these frictions take different forms depending on place and type of industry. In general they could be summarized as ‘bleeding over’. The sound of construction can be heard on neighborhood streets. Inhabitants share roads with reckless truckdrivers that often disregard speed limits (I’ll get back to this later on). Gardens are bordered by swathes of land used for storage of construction material, often unmaintained and messy.

Area within 100 m from border Border between industry and housing






GESAMTKUNSTWERK: EPHEMERAL UTOPIA TO TOTAL CONTROL Richard Wagner’s idea of Gesamtkunstwerk had strong social and utopian connotations10. In “The art work of the future” Wagner describes his ideal opera as a Gesamtkunstwerk. The opera would combine different forms of art and media like music, text, architecture, painting and dance to create one aesthetic experience. The opera would redefine the relationship between audience and performer, as one community that together created an aesthetic experience. Wagner thought the ideal opera should be free of charge to attract the best possible audience. Everyone rich or poor with an interest in the arts would be able to join. They would all work together to create the best possible result11. The Gesamtkunstwerk had to be ephemeral, achieved by creating the perfect setting together with everyone involved. After serving its purpose the whole setting could be broken down again. Wagner saw his ideal artwork as a fleeting aesthetic that had to be pursued collectively by audience and artists. Therefore it would be silly to preserve the structures that once made this moment possible12.


After Wagner, the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk went out of fashion until it got picked up almost a hundred years later by the Bauhaus movement. They turned Gesamtkunstwerk from a utopian Romantic concept into something more pragmatic and architectural. As an architectural concept, Gesamtkunstwerk meant creating the cohesive aesthetic experience of a building through the combination of different disciplines, e.g. architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, sounds and lighting design and the designation of function. Wagners notion of working with everyone involved was largely dismissed. For the Bauhaus movement, Gesamtkunstwerk meant the architect’s total control over all disciplines involved13. Ephemerality was dismissed as well, the vision of the architect had to be upheld. All the parts of the Gesamtkunstwerk were to be maintained and preserved indefinitely for the design to function as intended14.

THE DONAUUFERBAHN The construction of the Donauuferbahn railway through the Wachau in the early 1900’s illustrates the shift in understanding and use of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk. The Donauuferbahn rail line connected Grein to Vienna, crossing all of the Wachau valley. At the time of construction, the valley was already a celebrated painterly landscape. The painters of the “Wachau Künstlerbund” realized that the railway would be good for the income of the region and (begrudgingly) agreed to help with its realization. Rudolf Pichler, artist, architect and historian, advised on the design of the railway in an attempt to preserve the painterly qualities of the region. I’d argue that the placement of some of the tunnels even strengthens the mysterious aesthetic of the valley. Other artists created paintings showing the Donauuferbahn through the Wachau, in an attempt to enthuse visitors to come and view the new technological marvel15. However, the Donauuferbahn was not universally viewed as a success.

Many painters complained over the huge inflow of visitors, the fact that historic buildings had been demolished during construction, the noise of the trains and the ugly new tunnels and viaducts (50 years later this infrastructure became a celebrated monument)16. The painterly qualities of the region were increasingly viewed as coveted elements that needed preservation and protection. In the years following the construction of the railway, there was an increase in laws and regulations meant to preserve and protect historic buildings, iconic views and riverine forests. A consequence of this was that new developments were shunned from the region. In 1900, the Donauuferbahn had been developed in collaboration with artists, engineers and locals in line with Wagner’s utopian ideas. In the 1930’s, the development of a new industrial harbour took an approach closer to the ideas of the Bauhaus. In order to maintain the region as it is, the harbour was constructed in Krems-East, away from the historic city and out of sight of the Wachau.


DISPOSITION OF UNESCO Officially, UNESCO is relatively toothless when it comes to protecting and preserving world heritage sites. The organization can place sites on a list of ‘endangered world heritage sites’ or retract the world heritage status altogether. UNESCO’s role, as they describe it on their website, is to advance heritage protection by “advancing cooperation in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information”17. Preserving heritage, then, is a tool towards “equitable and sustainable development.”18 However, there is a recurring pattern of undesired modern fringes developing on the border of many UNESCO heritage sites. This pattern is visible when comparing the UNESCO borders of Krems and Melk at the beginning and end of the Wachau. Both towns have a strong spatial divide, with a historic western side and an eastern side with modern commercial and industrial developments. Beyond the Wachau this pattern is visible in UNESCO sites ranging from the shantytown tourist market on the edge of the Borobudur temple compound in Indonesia to suburbs infringing on de Stelling van Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


Keller Easterling, architect, writer and professor at Yale University, uses the word ‘disposition’ to describe the undeclared intentions and unstated tendencies of an organization. She argues that these dispositions often reveal themselves in spatial forms19. All aforementioned examples show a disposition of the UNESCO heritage status. A disposition of relocating any development deemed aesthetically unfitting for the world heritage site to a fringe zone. The mechanism behind this disposition works as follows: The measures that protect the Wachau often have nothing to do with the valley specifically. Instead, protection derives from a stricter application of general monument protection laws and restrictions related to the preservation of biodiversity and sustainable water management20. Many of the laws and regulations are just as applicable to Krems-East, however, the lack of UNESCO status means they are applied with less scrutiny during the processing of application for new development. Hence many ventures with a low spatial quality will look for a location in Krems-East. In this way KremsEast has become an overflow for developments not deemed worthy of the Wachau.

It is not necessarily bad that some functions that would negatively impact the Wachau are integrated in Krems-East. However, the UNESCO overflow mechanism combined with the poorly functioning zoning principle result in the implementation of functions without regard for spatial quality or necessity. I doubt how much the functions on the map below contribute to the region, in terms of jobs, living quality or income.

Their presence in massive quantities even prevents KremsEast to be part of the solution of some of the issues named in the Wachau management plan; the upscaling of winemakers and local businesses. As these commercial functions take up space that could be used for the expansion of winemakers or local enterpreneurs21.

DIY/gardening shop Budget supermarket Car dealership/workshop



As tool, Bauland betriebsnutzung is rather imprecise, many The differOn aa zoning larger scale the UNESCO overflow mechanism shows clearly. ent functions fall under this designation. This gives local government little Wachau hasthe almost no industrial zones. is theoflargest zoning control over developments in the area.Krems-East The construction anything allocation for Baulandfactory - Betriebsnutzung in the surroundings of the be valley. from a petrochemical to an XXL mattress store cannot legally prevented. Where it is very hard to allow new developments in the Wachau, it is equally hard to deny new developments in Krems-East. The UNESCO nomination document goes as far as to name these recent rapid developments and the upscaling of urban fringe areas like Krems-East as potentially detrimental to the qualities of the Wachau.


Wachau UNESCO world heritage site (inc. buffers) Krems-East Bauland - Betriebsnutzung


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EXPANDING BEYOND SPATIAL BARRIERS The industrial zone of Krems seems to be expanding. Spatial barriers are usually more of a permanent preventative measure to unbridled growth than laws and regulations. Zoning often expands over time until it reaches spatial borders. In Krems-East these spatial borders take the shape of infrastructure and the waterways of the area.


However the area zoned as Bauland - Betriebsnutzung allows developments to cross the spatial borders. In the north these zoned areas are already largely filled up. In the east an XXXLutz depot is the first to actually cross the highway and there is more designated space for other companies to follow. It is concerning that an already large and uncontrolled spatial zone is allowed to grow without oversight.

Bauland - Betriebsnutzung beyond spatial barriers Bauland - Betriebsnutzung






ARBEITSKREIS ZUM SCHUTZ DER WACHAU Both the UNESCO-development plan and nomination document for the Wachau cultural landscape mention that the preservation of the Wachau is the result of inhabitants strongly caring about the heritage of their surroundings22. This paints the preservation movement in a more idealistic light than is perhaps true. The image of the Wachau has for the last 120 years served many different economic purposes. First artists used it to sell paintings by being part of the popular “Wachau Künstlerbund”. These paintings of the Wachau were later used to promote tourism by an early tourism lobby. Later the winemakers used Wachau traditions, reintroduced for tourists, to emphasize the quality of their wines23. This regional branding helped to distance the winemakers from the Burgenland wine scandal. In 1972 an organization called ‘Arbeitskreis zum Schutz der Wachau’ was founded to oppose the construction of a power-plant on the banks of the Danube. The powerplant would block many of the famous views of the Wachau. Under the pressure of the arbeitskreis, the plans for the power-plant were abandoned24.


The Arbeitskreis consisted mostly of landowners, winemakers and business owners from the tourism industry. Most had a direct stake in protecting the romantic image of the Wachau in order to retain their income. The preservation of the Wachau can not only be read as an idealistic endeavor of locals with a strong commitment to history. It should equally be seen as a vehicle for the lobbying of wealthy local groups to protect their interest. The Arbeitskreis continued to lobby against developments they deemed unfitting for the region. They pushed the bid to nominate the valley as UNESCO world heritage. After the successful nomination in 1999, the working group was re-named “Arbeitskreis Wachau”. The original members were joined by heritage experts and municipality officials to sustainably develop the region25. The strong influence of a small group of people on the development of the Wachau puts a limited amount of issues on the political agenda. In the last years the research budget for the preservation of vineyards was €3,000,000, the research budget for architectural monuments was only €100,00026. The Wachau would benefit from a more diverse discourse.

LERCHENFELDSIEDLUNG The meritocratic tone of the statements in the UNESCO documents on the inhabitants of the Wachau strongly caring about the heritage of their surroundings27 implies that less well-preserved places, like Krems-East, are the result of the inhabitants not caring about their surroundings. The sociologist and urbanist Richard Sennet strongly objects to meritocratic explanations of spatial differences. Instead he argues that these differences are often the result of difference in socioeconomic background, history and physical urban living condition28. The vicinity of housing and industry in Krems-East stem from the second world war. A Styrian steel factory was moved to the Krems harbour, a tactical repositioning. The harbour was safe and connected to the rest of Austria by both water and rail. The factory was vital for the war effort. The Styrian workers also moved to Krems to ensure proper operation. The Lerchenfeldsiedlung was built for their accommodation. The locals were suspicious of the Styrian migrants. As a result, the Lerchenfeldsiedlung was built outside of Krems as an enclave next to the factory29.

After the second world war many of the Styrian workers stayed and the steel factory kept operating (it does to this day). As permanent housing, the Lerchenfeldsiedlung has some downsides. The poor mobility that stems from the remote location and envelopment by industry goes hand in hand with little upward social mobility. The housing is of good quality, but homogeneous and relatively cheap. The Lerchenfeld therefore attracts mostly new migrants (this time from abroad). After spending many days filming in Krems-East it is clear to me that the inhabitants care about their environment. They do not have the means to invest in the preservation of their heritage or the connections to lobby against developments that they might find undesirable. They are up against the efforts of powerful UNESCO neighbors. Therefore, their impulse to improve their surroundings are on a small scale and not structural. They have little power to resist the UNESCO status disposition to locate all undesired functions to their backyard. Krems-East would benefit from being included in the discourse on the development of the Wachau.


CLASHES WITH HOUSING Unavoidable in Krems-East is the car infrastructure. The sound of trucks blazing past is omnipresent. The Landersdorfer Straße and (to a lesser extent) the Hofrat-ErbenStraße are used as shortcuts for the commerce and industry related traffic to reach the 37 highway. Both these streets cross the housing of Krems-East. Neither road is necessary for industrial traffic to reach the highway. Reducing the maximum speed to 30 km/h or banning trucks on these roads would massively increase the living standards of the area (especially along the Landersdorfer Straße) with little impact for the industry. It is exemplary for the power relations between Krems-East and the Wachau that the inhabitants of Krems-East cannot get these easy-fix problems on the agenda.


Other relatively easy-fixes that would improve the living quality of the neighborhood are more frequent public transport between the Lerchenfeld and the trainstation (currently only two buses an hour) and solving barriers for slow traffic caused by the high intensity roads. The UNESCO-development plan states that many young inhabitants move away because of lack of affordable housing. KremsEast has high-quality affordable houses. Improving the lived qualities of Krems-East might retain these young inhabitants for the region.

Housing area High intensity roads



DEALING WITH HISTORY One of the differences between Krems-East and the Wachau was the role each played under the Nazi regime of Austria. Images of the Wachau were used as propaganda for the traditions and virtues of the Germanic race. Krems-East was used as a place to build factories in which prisoners of war, held in a nearby labor camp, were forced to work. It is possible that the Austrian unease to deal with the history of the Second world war30 has contributed to the neglect of Krems-East. The discourse on how to develop Krems-East would be more substantial if its origins were included. As I have pointed out previously, these origins have a big influence on the region today.


It is easier to move past the Nazi use of Wachau imagery than the concrete physical remnants of war crimes in Krems-East. However, ignoring these remnants detracts from the historic complexity of the region. Furthermore, many of these remnants have distinct architectural qualities with the potential to become a tourist destination. Especially a silo in the harbour that was later renovated by the popular artist Hundertwasser31. The lack of tourism and limited monumental status of much of the heritage, deprives the region of income. Income that could be used for improvements of the area that would benefit both tourists and locals like better bike infrastructure and public transport.

Sites that played a significant role in WWII



MISSED CHANCES AND UNDERDEVELOPED PLACES Previously I was critical of the development of functions in the industrial zone and their contribution to Krems-East. Let’s take an equally critical look at the enterprises in the area that do contribute services, employment and income to Krems. Many of these functions, especially the harbour and industry, fence off their properties. This often leads to underused spaces, poorly maintained public spaces that are not accessible because of all the fencing. These spaces are often designated as green space.


The underused potential is sometimes baffling. Throughout Krems, the river Krems is a rewilded parkspace with bike- and walking paths. Until it hits KremsEast, where the riverside suddenly becomes inaccessible and cyclists have to cross two busy roads to continue on a bikepath on the margin of industrial estates. There are many traces of inhabitants making the best of these underdeveloped places, like elephant paths used by dogwalkers. Structural development of these places into public space would be a significant low-cost, high-reward project.

Unused space along the river Krems Designated green space in Krems-East






TWELVE RECOMMENDATIONS TO DEVELOP KREMS-EAST On the previous pages I have outlined a number of spatial issues in Krems-East. Many of these issues are negative aspects of being a spillover area for the Wachau, a result of the disposition of UNESCO. KremsEast does not merely need design solutions to these spatial issues but tools that lead to a healthier relationship with the Wachau. Tools that allow the inhabitants of the Lerchenfeld to have some say over their neighborhood. Tools that lead to a more symbiotic relationship between Krems-East and the Wachau, as it has become abundantly clear that both areas would benefit from this.


What follows are twelve design recommendations, roughly organized by scale (L,M,S). The recommendations contain proposals for spatial interventions that lead to better living qualities in Krems-East and can be used as tools for the emancipation of the region. Together, these proposals form a cohesive spatial framework for a more symbiotic relationship with the Wachau. However, many suggestions can be implemented separately from the framework, even in small steps. This means that some of the easy fixes and low cost measures can be implemented first. Their success might even be a catalyst for further, more complex, developments.






The Wachau UNESCO (buffer) status should be extended to all parts that contribute to the functioning of the valley. This strengthens the discourse on the spatial development of the region.

The aesthetic zones determine what functions get a place in Krems-East. Each zone is developed to attract certain functions. Upscaled winemakers find a place in the commerce zone, and young families can find attractive housing in the Lerchenfeld.

Subsequently, Krems-East (and Melk-South) are formalized as spillover-buffers. Necessary functions that are unfitting to the Wachau can be placed here. The development of unnecessary functions in the buffer is prevented by their new UNESCO status.

This new UNESCO zoning mechanism should coincide with the development of a spatial framework that keeps the growth of the region in check. Physical borders that add to the planning mechanism.







The spatial framework takes the shape of an alluvial forest. This allows the locals of Krems-East to invoke the many laws protecting this type of forest against developments that deteriorate their living qualities. This gives the neighborhood a stronger voice in the development of their region.

The forest should be developed as public space for the inhabitants of Krems-East. It has room for events and public functions, and space to just go for a walk.


Much of the framework can be developed relatively easily by making better use of the forested leftover spaces that are already there. These can be incrementally improved and extended.

A network of bike- and pedestrian paths is integrated in the forest structure. This network better connects the different parts of Krems-East, as well as Krems-East with the center.



An additional heritage trail connects to the many Wachau walking routes. This trail, showing the history of the region related to WWII, provides context to the Wachau and generates income for Krems-East.


The trees and relief of the alluvial forest functions as a barrier against the noise, visual and smell of the other zones. This improves the quality of life in the Lerchenfeld.



To improve the quality of life in Krems-East, the speed limit of the housing zone is reduced to 30 km/h. This way it stops being an attractive shortcut for the industrial traffic. Planological measures could be designated to all zones to strengthen their functioning.

PHASE OUT DEVELOPMENTS Some current developments will need to be (re)moved. This can happen over time, they can first be enveloped by the framework and rezoned when a plot is sold.


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CONCLUSION Both sides of Krems suffer from a similar flaw in their development: imprecision. In the Wachau many processes that could potentially benefit the region are halted by planning regulations. In KremsEast the regulations are too lax, leading to too much development and development that does not benefit the region. The two areas are governed by different processes that do not interact much. It would be beneficial for both sides to actively work with the other. Krems-East would benefit from some of the planological scrutiny as applied in the Wachau. At the same time Krems-East has the flexibility to integrate some of the functions that do not fit the Romantic atmosphere of the Wachau, but are needed for the daily life in the region. Two themes recur throughout this booklet that should be considered more in both Krems-East and the Wachau: inclusivity and specificity.


Inclusivity: The decision making process of the development of Krems and the Wachau is influenced by a small group of locals. They should be commended for their contribution, but they do not bring all interests in the region to the table. A more diverse peer group would widen the focus and lead to more sustainable development of the region Specificity: Very few designers are involved in the development of the region. The first spatial development plan for the Wachau is currently in the making, 20 years after the UNESCO nomination. This work by the BĂźro fĂźr Baukulturerbe is a promising start, but is not intended as an all encompassing strategy. Much of the region is developed based on measures that are applied everywhere equally. Including (landscape) architects in the development of the region will lead to the consideration of the spatial effects of different measures on specific places. This would benefit both the Wachau and Krems-East.

NOTES 1 Böhme, G. 1993, ‘Atmosphere as the Fundamental Concept of a New Aesthetics’, in Thesis Eleven, Critical Theory and Historical Sociology, vol. 36, p.125

17 Unesco website, available online Last visited 16-11-2020

2 For further reading, see Truniger, F. 2013 ‘Filmic mapping’ Jovis Verlag

19 Easterling, K. 2014 ‘Extrastatecraft’ Verso publishing

3 UNESCO 2020 ‘Wachau cultural landscape’ published online list/970/ Last visited 16-11-2020

20 Welterbegemeinden Wachau 2010 ‘Management plan Wachau world heritage’ Bibliothek/projects/_Projekte/WachauProjekte/ ManagementPlanWorldHeritageWachau_20170710. pdf Last visited 16-11-2020

4 This argument derives from a 2018 lecture by Prof.Dr. Pereira-Roders during a conference on heritage and sustainability in de Observant in Amersfoort 5 UNESCO 2020 ‘Dorset and East Devon coast’ published online list/1029/ Last visited 16-11-2020 6 For an example for precise OUV’s allowing development in UNESCO areas see the report on integrating renewable energy in de Stelling van Amsterdam, published online uploads/2019/03/190227_Rapport-SvA-en-NHW.pdf Last visited 20-11-2020 7 Bundesdenkmalamt 1999 ‘The world heritage Documentation for the nomination of Wachau cultural landscape’ https://whc.unesco. org/uploads/nominations/970.pdf Last visited 22-102020

18 Ibid.

21 Ibid. 22 Ibid. 23 Krug, W. 2020 ‘Wachau: Bilder aus dem Land der Romantik’ Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz 24


25 Welterbegemeinden Wachau 2010 ‘Management plan Wachau world heritage’ Bibliothek/projects/_Projekte/WachauProjekte/ ManagementPlanWorldHeritageWachau_20170710. pdf Last visited 16-11-2020 26 As noted by Prof. Dr. Cristian Abrihan, personal conversation

9 Krug, W. 2020 ‘Wachau: Bilder aus dem Land der Romantik’ Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz

27 Welterbegemeinden Wachau 2010 ‘Management plan Wachau world heritage’ Bibliothek/projects/_Projekte/WachauProjekte/ ManagementPlanWorldHeritageWachau_20170710. pdf Last visited 16-11-2020

10 Lajosi, K. 2010 ‘Wagner and the (Re) mediation of Art’ in FRAME 23.2, p.42-60

28 Sennet, R. 2018 ‘Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City’ Penguin publishing

11 Ibid.

29 Hauenfells, T; Krasny E; Nussbaum, A. 2011 ‘Architekturlandschaft Niederösterreich Waldviertel’ SpringerWienNewYork

8 Lajosi, K. 2010 ‘Wagner and the (Re) mediation of Art’ in FRAME 23.2, p.42-60

12 Ibid. 13 Ibid. 14 Dustin Cosentino ‘Passage Interdit: Gesamtkunstwerk’ Last visited 16-112020 15 Krug, W. 2020 ‘Wachau: Bilder aus dem Land der Romantik’ Verlag Bibliothek der Provinz 16

30 Wodak, R. 2016 ‘suppression of the Nazi past, coded language and discourse of silence’ in Seymour, D. and Camino, M. (eds.) ‘The Holocaust in the Twenty-First Century’ Routeledge 31 Hauenfells, T; Krasny E; Nussbaum, A. 2011 ‘Architekturlandschaft Niederösterreich Waldviertel’ SpringerWienNewYork



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Both the booklet “Creating a framework: a spatial analysis and twelve design recommendations for Krems-East” and the short film “Painting a picture: on the fringe of world heritage” could not have been made without many people lending their time and expertise to the project. I’d like to thank the following people for their contribution.

Ulrike Jägert was the calming presence during the more stressful parts of the project. Our conversations and her insights and feedback made the project into what it is now.

The historian specialized in the modern history of Krems, Dr. Robert Streibel, took the time to share many historic sources and personal anecdotes about the Lerchenfeldsiedlung. His suggestions led to the most interesting character of the short film: Gustav Steinschorn.

Finally, I’d like to thank the teams of AIR and ORTE. Especially Johan Nane Simonsen and Christina Nägele. Christina was a great sounding board throughout the production of the film and booklet. She provided very helpful feedback and kept me up to date with interesting art and architecture events in both Krems and Vienna. Johan was an accommodating host and made the stay in Krems very easy. He even ended up narrating the short film and the project is all the better for it.

The encouragements of curator and writer on site specific art and film Claudia Slanar and filmmaker Johann Lurf kept my own doubt in check. Johann’s tips on editing further improved the short film. Head of Büro für Baukulturerbe Prof. Dr. Cristian Abrihan explained his work on the preservation of the Wachau to me. His observations enriched the research in this booklet.


Hanna Husum, Jan Strootman and Wilma Strootman proofread parts of the work and gave constructive feedback.


For inquiries on the booklet and the short film

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