MEGATABS architects realize a Smart-City concept in Oberndorf near Salzburg

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MEGATABS architects realize a Smart-City concept in Oberndorf near Salzburg
Borg Oberndorf. Photo: Hertha Hurnaus.

OBERNDORF.- The new building of the Oberndorf Town Hall is conceived as the ‘New Centre’ of the municipality to be a place of encounter equally for citizens, community representatives and employees. It is a modern and open citizen service centre, the spatial realisation of a transparent and citizen-friendly municipal administration based on a holistic architectural approach – encompassing urban development standards through to the interior design.

The three-storey building reacts sensitively to the homogeneous townscape. It responds to the urban planning alignment of its built environment and thus complements the township’s village structure. In doing so it specifically re-enacts the township’s typical features in its scaled dimensioning and the selected roof form, its clear and striking geometry conjuring up a deliberate contrast to the free space.

The forecourt formed on the south side is designed as an encounter zone, meanwhile expressing with the recessed ground floor a clearly visible and weatherproof entrance situation. Access to the Town Hall is via the roofed-over main entrance area in the south. The passageway foyer provides a smooth transition to the green area at the rear and is also connected directly via a side entrance to the visitors’ car park. Comprehending all floors, it acts as the communicative heart of the building, and, with its sequence of atrium and air spaces, provides for high-quality interior settings and diversified options of viewing into, out of and through the building. So it generates a positive and inviting atmosphere, but also makes for high-level transparency and uncomplicated orientation for all users.

Atrium, air spaces and traffic zones articulate each functional and administrative zone, effecting not only a clear and transparent spatial structure but also short access routes and optimal work processes. The central staircase guarantees not only a practical routing system but also generates an easily detectable escape route situation.

The multifunctional conference hall on the ground floor is clearly separated from the citizens service zone and can therefore be used independent of the rest of the building for conferences and external events. Its orientation on the Town Hall garden shields it from onlookers, its spacious terrace opens it up to the outside.
In terms of energy efficiency and sustainability, the town hall meets the highest standards. The energy demand is covered by groundwater heat pumps, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, which are installed in the new BORG Oberndorf, which was built at the same time, and also supply the town hall in the sense of a smart city concept in the local heating network.


Basing the concept on a holistic architectural approach, the new school building coherently implements the premises of openness, interaction and sustainability – encompassing urban development standards through to the interior design and furnishing.

This spacious atrium is enclosed by a three-storey building with recessed terraces; its formal design is based on the criteria of a transparent and overall structure of optimal visibility, and short, spatially high-quality access routes. This is reflected most of all in the complex viewing perspectives the new school building offers to its users. A constantly alternating interplay between viewing out, viewing into and through the building offers pupils, teachers and visitors a spatial experience that is as diverting as it is diverse.

You arrive directly from the entrance area into the centrally situated aula, the school hall. Along with the roofed-over air space and the floating library cube, it forms the heart of the new school. It materialises as a high-quality recreational and assembly zone, an invitation to linger and converse. The hall is furnished with spacious seating steps, so it is furthermore an ideal stage for lectures and events of all kinds.

On the second and top floor eight standard classrooms and open learning areas are grouped around the atrium to form light-flooded, flexibly versatile learning landscapes. In addition there are retreat facilities which can be used as group rooms, answering the need for quiet break zones and privacy and providing versatile teaching and recreation areas. Spacious terraces offer plenty of scope for outdoor classes, thus enabling diversified teaching structures also outdoors.

As regards energy efficiency and sustainability the building’s technological systems fulfil the highest standards. A groundwater heat pump is allied with a photovoltaic and solar heating system to cover the power requirement. In line with a smart city concept, the local heat network supplies the BORG jointly with the new, recently built Town Hall. The power yield covers its own consumption; surpluses are fed into the energy supply network.

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