Architecture with heart and meaning for the Sovereign Order of MALTESER
13. June 2023
DELTA PODS has built the “MALTESER Ordenshaus” for the Sovereign Order of MALTESER, a residential and nursing home for the elderly with additional office space for the mobile care service “MALTESER Care”. The building project is a joint construction project with the Sovereign Order of MALTESER, the Elisabethinen Linz-Vienna, and the Franziskus hospital, which is at the traditional location in the heart of Vienna, where traditional building fabric has been combined with modern functions and corresponding synergies in a unique way. The last few years have been quite exciting for the entire project team; demolition work, archaeological excavations, and corona have required a lot of effort. However, revitalizing parts of the over 300-year-old inner-city monastery and combining them with a modern new building was also simply exceptional.
Old becomes functional & modern
Within the scope of the project, the renovation of the existing monastery complex as well as a new building were parts of the project, and a state-of-the-art building was created. In the old building, much reorganization work was due, and sanitary facilities, risers, shafts, and elevator systems were inserted into the monument-protected section to function barrier-free for the elderly. The historic floor was released to accommodate new piping and necessary modern electrical systems. Special forms had to be found for historic doors with regard to fire protection. The monastery was originally built in small cells. Two rooms for residents were created from each of the three cells. In the old part of the building, there are now a total of 20 units for residents, four of which are designed as double-room apartments.
Dignity in old age as an architectural message
In a new building, visual axes and visual relationships within the building are particularly important. The possibilities were limited by the existing zoning, but the client, as well as the DELTA PODS team, were concerned to depict the person in old age in the architecture. Orientation through visual axes as well as possible “figure-eight loops” in the floor plan not only ensure well-being and safety but also that people suffering from dementia can walk their own way in their immediate surroundings. In all of this, of course, the statutory requirements of a nursing home had to be met in all rooms.
The new building contains 53 bright and open single rooms, each with a seating area in front of a glass parapet so that the residents can enjoy a wonderful view of the surroundings and the revitalized garden for the nursing home. The open space design of this green area as a central part of the overall concept was implemented together with Carla Lo. The nursing home also offers large terraces on the second and fourth floors with seating, raised beds, and shading options that are used by the residents.
Andreas Mensdorff-Pouilly, the special representative of the Sovereign Order of MALTESER and architect, has been familiar with the “MALTESER Ordenshaus” project for over 10 years. The integration into the overall project “Center for the elderly” at this so convincing location succeeded through close cooperation with the architect and general planner DELTA PODS: “I am very grateful to the whole team for the implementation. Despite numerous different challenges, the Malteser Residential and Nursing Home for the Elderly was completed on time and went into operation at the beginning of this year for the benefit of the residents.”
About the joy of growing with tasks
Building an inner-city nursing home is a real challenge in terms of construction logistics. There were only two access roads to the construction site, and archaeological and monument protection considerations always had to be taken into account. The project team had to act prudently in the existing building because literally, no two stones in the old building were alike. With this knowledge, the construction phases were timed in such a way that enough time was created for individual solutions that could only be worked out in the existing building.
For Philipp Peneder, architect and project manager at DELTA PODS, the project is a great motivation: “I looked forward to coming into the office every day to continue working on the monastery. In the old building, we were able to recognize some things only in the inventory, which of course meant more effort to preserve this incredibly beautiful monastery with its rich history for future generations, and it was extraordinarily fun!”
Markus Hiden, CEO, and architect at DELTA PODS, has been accompanying the project since 2014: “The newly created “Malteser Ordenshaus” is another milestone for us that helps to secure the location. Creating a center for the elderly in the middle of the city is extremely meaningful work, simply the best motivation one can have for something. The same applies to cooperation, which has always been constructive, appreciative, and solution-oriented for so many years!”