Alternative air traffic control tower and fire station completed at military airport in Austria
A new air traffic control tower and service building for the fire brigade, winter service and rescue, designed by Zechner & Zechner ZT Gmbh have now been completed at Zeltweg Military Airport in Austria. The condition of the structure and technology of the existing building, as well as the introduction of the Eurofighter by the Austrian defence forces, necessitated the construction the new facilities.
The decision to combine the tower and sheds led to the creation of a ‘standing’ part and ‘reclining’ part of the building. The two elements enter into a dialogue with each other, the ‘foot’, consisting of fire brigade area and base, confronts the 45m tower. The epitrochoid ground plan is a result of the main lines of sight to the runway.
The tower is not the classic form (consisting of a shaft topped by a control room) but instead takes the shape of a multi-story building, where the separation into different floors is subverted by the irregular placement of slit-like windows – a high tech camouflage. In contrast to the shiny silver tower, the base structures seem to be anthracite grey boxes, sitting consciously heavily on the ground.
The completion of the project indicates, both to the client – the Austrian ministry of defence – and the planner that combining the economic provision of specific purpose buildings and architectural considerations is not contradictory. The Zeltweg tower is the second building of its type, after the tower at Vienna airport, where Zechner & Zechner has reinterpreted the air traffic control tower.