by Lasse Mouritzen and Frida Robles


“When architecture and urban design project their desire onto a vacant space, a terrain vague, they seem incapable of doing anything other than introducing violent transformations, changing estrangement into citizenship, and striving at all costs to dissolve the uncontaminated magic of the obsolete in the realism of efficacy.”

- Ignasi Sola-Morales

1. Nordwestbahnstraße | Peter Mayr

Temporary wastelands of a city, such as this abandoned railway cargo terminal, sometimes seem to be hibernating compared to the city center. The Nordwestbahnstrasse in the 20th district of Vienna (Brigittenau) is one of these areas. This dormant and almost-in-ruins area will be demolished in the next few years to, apparently, open ground for a new urban development. It is yet to be seen which processes will be triggered by the transformation of this area.

2. Nordwestbahnstraße | Peter Mayr

Vacant lots and their ruins remind us of urban pasts while they also represent the yet-to-be-defined, allowing the possibility for inhabitants to exercise individual and collective desires or beliefs. By labeling a vacant lot as an “intentional blank place” Robles and Mouritzen wish to accentuate the unavoidable correlation between poetic possibilities, strategic planning, and capital interests. They suggest that vacant lots are the force which gives form to the city. A potential for imaging the city otherwise, opening up new perceptions and practices; however, highly vulnerable for becoming a driver of land speculation, gentrification, and disguised capital agenda.

3. Nordwestbahnstraße | Peter Mayr

THIS PLACE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK is a poetic gesture, speculating on the possibilities, vibrancy and conditions of vacant lots.


Frida Robles ↩ and Lasse Mouritzen ↩
Funded by: Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (KÖR) Supported by: brut Wien, ÖBB, and BAI
Produced by: partner in crime
Planning consultation by: Antonella Amesberger Manufactured by: Lichtwerkstatt Knoll
Renders: Anni Dai

Ignasi Solá- Morales “Terrain Vague” in Terrain Vague. Interstices at the Edge of the Pale, eds. Patrick Barron and Manuela Mariani, Routledge, 201