Sakura: Social Housing in Japanese Style

In Vienna, architect Nerma Linsberger developed the social housing project “Sakura” and got awarded by the American Architecture Prize (AAP) 2016. The facade of the unique residential building reminds of the famous Japanese cherry blossom, after which the project is named. Major goals were the reduction of costs and a social suitability. The apartments are designed in a compact way and are economically optimized.

Innovative Architecture

On one side a V-shaped courtyard is cut into the building, creating a bright atrium, where the sun can enter the structure. Because of the particular body shape of the building, a large variety of apartment ground plans can be offered. For further adjustments for the renters, the compact apartments can be merged together. Also, rooms can be connected to create larger spaces. Every unit comes with its own loggia with a balcony. To lower the cost of the complex, the number of elevators and staircases was minimized and the sanitation core copes with a short pipe system. The building has an energy efficient design and uses low-maintenance and durable materials, like the wood-aluminium windows with triple isolation, which also protects the residents from the noises of the adjacent busy intersection.

Focus on the Community

Because of the compactness of flats, Sakura offers a wide variety of shareable community spaces, which can be used as communal kitchens or in- and outdoor areas for children to play. The meeting and communication spaces have a varying degree of privacy and allow the residents to interact in different ways. Through the community, the identification of the inhabitants with their social housing complex should be strengthened and prejudice reduced. The social housing project is secured by a 100-year construction law agreement, which ensures low rents for the residents.