Exemplary Modernist housing: Alt Erlaa in Vienna

Exemplary Modernist housing: Alt Erlaa in Vienna

Our Modern Vienna Map author Gili Merin introduces Alt Erlaa, a housing complex in Vienna, which has been held up as a successful and humane example of Modernist mass housing – it's another must-see 20th century building to visit on your next trip to Vienna.

Described as a ‘socialist utopia’, Wohnpark (Residential Park) Alt Erlaa is a giant housing project in Vienna’s 23rd district. Designed by Austrian architect
Harry Glück and built between 1975 and 1986, it houses 9,000 people across its 3,200 apartments. Each of the blocks is designed as a series of stacked apartments, organized in the lower part as a series of setback outdoor balconies that turn into covered ones on the upper floor.

Alt Erlaa Vienna housing close up
Photography by Gili Merin

Since each unit has an exterior balcony with a large planter,  residents grow trees, bushes and flowers,  giving the buildings their signature green look, which is accentuated by the extensive park designed around and between the blocks. The futuristic look of suspended gardens sets this project apart from Le Corbusier’s towers in the park model for the ‘Radiant City’ from the early 20th century.

Alt Erlaa housing in Vienna surrounded by trees

While conceived as a project for low-income families, Alt Erlaa offers residents luxurious amenities: there are seven rooftop pools, seven indoor pools, gyms, saunas, and other sports facilities (which are unfortunately closed to the general public). Glück’s concept of ‘a city within a city’ can also be seen in other urban facilities, such as kindergartens, medical clinics, a church, and a commercial centre with supermarkets, restaurants and shops. The complex is easily accessible through a subway station, and the park is entirely public.


Useful information

Address: Anton-Baumgartner-Straße 44, Vienna, Austria
Location on Google Maps

Find the Alt Erlaa on our Modern Vienna Map

Your guide to modern architecture in Vienna. Featuring remarkable examples of Modern architecture in Vienna, this two-sided bilingual guide includes a map, details of 50 buildings, an introduction and photography by Gili Merin. Featured on the map are Functionalist works by Adolf Loos, the residential blocks of Red Vienna, including the Karl-Marx-Hof, post-war Brutalist churches, Hans Hollein’s sculptural shopfronts, the Art Deco Amalienbad, the world’s first Deconstructivist project by Coop Himmelb(l)au, Hundertwasser's colourful and undulating architecture and much more.

Modern Vienna Map


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