Common Space Case Study of New Work Typology

We started the Common Space project to drive fundamental and sustainable change. Here we introduce and visualize the power of reprogramming existing typologies into a new set of infrastructures. These public spaces offer affordable and flexible access to space and infrastructure, and allow for personal and creative progress. The multidisciplinary team is currently building local and global networks and collaborations and testing their ideas in concrete case studies.

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Team: Mark Neuner, Irina Nalis, Marlene Lötsch, Gloria Hinterleitner, Alexander Fischer, Christian Höhl, Agnes Schulz-Bongert, Daniela Mehlich, Vanessa Bühl


Common Space City Model

The Common Space City Model

Creates flexible, affordable access to spaces and infrastructure that promote personal and creative development 

Uses the window of opportunity offered by digitization for a broader, positive change

Enables a resource-saving lifestyle and creates new links of social interaction


The Common Space City Model combines new forms of organization, administration and access. It is our approach to react to contemporary challenges like the climate crisis, scarce resources and spaces, rising rents producing an ever more present inequality gap, involving involuntary social isolation. These are problems concerning us as a community. However, we believe that through the upcoming innovations in digitization and the power of networks and cooperations we can work towards a positive change, with architecture contributing to this transformation.  

With our Common Space City Model we therefore introduce a new layer of shared, common infrastructures to the existing city. We call these new infrastructures the „Common Space Typologies.“
The Common Space Typologies depict the basic elements of urban life – producing, working and learning, driven by a collective energy. With the typology’s general qualities, the typologies are designed to be implemented internationally and then adapted locally. 

The aim is to transform our cities into a common resource for its inhabitants. These new typologies are: 

The Common Space Workshop, 
The Common Space Market and
The Common Space New Work.

Common Space Toolkit

Year: 2022
Project Team: Mark Neuner, Marlene Lötsch, Sabine Schertler, Irina Nalis

Funding: BMKOES Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky project grant 2022-2023


You can download a PDF of the Common Space Toolkit here!

The Common Space Toolkit aims at the active involvement of diverse stakeholders during the planning phase and in operating and managing the space. With this, we want to ensure the implementation of our Common Space vision even after planning and designing are finished.

With developing the tools, we worked on changing the planning process of our projects to achieve a higher level of participation, ideally resulting in a Co-Creation process.


Typology Common Space Workshop

The Common Space Workshop provides space and infrastructure for urban production and creative development, well equipped to meet the possibilities and requirements of digital technologies as wells as traditional crafts. In the Common Space Workshop, the focus is on collaborative work and mutual learning. 

An increasing number of people is engaged in crafting, repairing goods and the DIY culture. Today there are several private initiatives spread across the city, many of them struggling with financial issues, administrational problems or a lack of space. Most of these small workshops are dependent on the private commitment of the people who run the facilities. This is why the use of these facilities is often connected with a costly membership, long waiting lists, limited opening hours or long travel  distances. However, a centrally organized network of connected large-scale workshops that are well-equipped, easily accessible and affordable is missing in most towns. Implementing the new typology of the Common Space Workshop can thus support existing initiatives, facilitate awareness for the circular economy and promote the diy-culture and people active in the creative businesses. 

Case Study Circular Workshop

The Common Space Circular Workshop provides extended spaces and infrastructures for urban production, to keep materials in a circulating flow and to act as an incubator for the creative potential of the neighborhood. 

In many cities former industrial sites offer vast vacant spaces, often lacking a good concept for future use, despite having high spatial potential. Instead of selling off the plot to private land developers, a public open, up-dated industrial site could be implemented to generate new creative potentials and to support local urban production. The equipment of the Common Space Circular Workshop meets the possibilities and requirements of digital technologies as wells as traditional crafts, offering facilities such as:
Wood workshops
Metal workshops
Electrotechnical workshops
Workshops for synthetic materials
Ceramics workshops
Textile workshops
Repair workshops
Re-use material sales
Recycling center
Community kitchen

Typology Common Space Market

The aim of the Common Space Market is to promote local and sustainable cultivation as an alternative to global mass production. 

Small scale farming can hardly compete with the mass production of goods in a global scale. However, local markets offer crucial financial opportunities for small scale farmers and producers to make a living. Markets have always been a venue, where not only goods, but also knowledge, cultures, news and social contacts have been exchanged. While being „infrastructure“, markets always play an important role as low-threshold social hotspots. The typology of the Common Space Market is therefore fundamental for sustaining nearby food production and developing and sharing knowledge about agriculture, landscapes and food. 

Case Study Neighbourhood Market

The Common Space Neighborhood Market lays out new organizational, technological distributional and educational patterns for current and future farmers, vendors and citizens with an emphasis on the support of local small scale farming and food cooperatives.

The Volkertmarkt is currently the least visited market in Vienna: Many market stalls are vacant, visitors and offer are scarce, vendors are frustrated. However, it is centrally situated in the district, surrounded by many initiatives and is frequently used by neighbors for social gatherings. With the Common Space Neighborhood Market we want to strengthen the social aspects of the market, create a hub for synergies for the local initiatives and extend the market offer. The Neighborhood Market is an open platform, including facilities such as:
Fixed and temporary market stalls
Open market kitchen
Open market office
Multifunctional public market furniture
Flexible outdoor spaces for sports, events and social gatherings
Large seating staircase and a stage
Public roof
Green pergolas and cooling water elements
Youth center

Typology Common Space New Work

The New Work typology provides spatial and organizational responses to the changes in the world of work, as a place of lifelong learning, self-empowerment and self-organization 

In most cities and especially  Vienna, there is a broad variety of privately run co-working facilities, ranging from a very intimate atmosphere to huge open plan offices. Most of them offer flexible accessibility and a well equipped working environment, however, looking at the map, most of them are located close to the city centre and asking for very high rates. More affordable spaces or such located less concentrated are vitally harder to find. In contrary to that, the City of Vienna provides a well spread, very popular network of adult education centers, called Volkshochschulen. The Common Space Typologies seeks to combine various shared work environments with educational facilities and make it accessible to all. 

Case Study Center for New Work

The Common Space Center for New Work provides local facilities for the new requirements in the world of work and opportunities for life-long learning. 

The Sandleitenhof was built during the period famously known as „Red-Vienna“ and is the biggest communal housing project from that time. Today, still more than 4000 inhabitants live at the Sandleitenhof and around 13.500 people are located within a walking distance of ten minutes. Despite the various facilities integrated in the housing project in the 1920’s, today many shops and spaces remain empty. The Neighborhood Center for New Work re-activates the vacant spaces and transforms them into an open platform with facilities such as:
Fix desks and shared working desks
Rooms for workshops and education
Neighborhood Cafe
Spaces for digital fabrication
Amphitheater for Talks and Events

Common SpaceTeaching