Hans-Gasser Square

A place for new encounters

The primary idea of the entire design is to displace traffic from the area and create an expansive, inviting space. The Hans-Gasser Square, which creates identity, will be opened up, made accessible and will increasingly invite people to promenade, linger and meet. The redesign removes all structural elements within and around the square and thus removes the blockades of the visual axes. A new square layout will reduce traffic and enhance public transport, cycling and pedestrian circulation. The aim is to create a balanced and functioning encounter zone.


Villach, Austria


2014 - 2017


Public Areas


Gisela Erlacher

In cooperation with

Arch. Michael Prodinger

Commissioned by

Stadt Villach


Competition winner

Emphasising the character of the square through Mediterranean design

The present design breaks up the square's strong built-up character and thus creates a large, open space, based on Mediterranean models. This opening results in an important, flexible open space that can be used and designed individually for the church day and the daily markets. The southern façade of the houses is lightened and framed by a series of trees - however, larger green areas are dispensed with in favour of a flexible open space. The bus shelters are also redesigned and repositioned with a view to more openness and freedom. The east-west orientation of the bus shelters does not disrupt the visual axis to the square and the space retains its open and expansive appearance.



Lively paving and playful furnishing

As the square is oriented lengthwise, the stone paving, which is divided into small sections, is placed crosswise. This creates the visual effect of a larger square. The lively paving is created by stones of different sizes and shades of grey without a strict pattern. The three different shades of paving create a coherent space. The furniture growing out of it in the middle of the street defines the actual square area. The entire square is levelled and the paving is adapted. The furniture zone in the centre of the square is simple and playful. The various seats and playing furniture invite people to linger.

Söhne & Partner Architekten, Hans Gasser Platz
Söhne & Partner Architekten, Hans Gasser Platz