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Courtyard by Marriott
Client: Kongresshotel Errichtungs-u. BetriebsGmbH
Location: Linz 1992 - 1994
International hotel operators have their own view of how to run hotels: cost-effectiveness on the one hand, international standards on the other. The architect´s task is to combine these with relatively moderate room prices.

Together with the plans for the Design Centre, Thomas Herzog developed a concept for an integrated hotel with 230 rooms – a sensible idea in the context of conferences and trade fairs – which he then implemented in collaboration with Wolfgang Kaufmann. The real difficulties lay in the specifications of the operators, whose criterion is a global profitability comparison, starting from the estimated room price. Although prices in Linz are considerably lower than those in Prague or Paris, the quality and execution of the design has to meet international standards. Asked how this is to be achieved, operators reply laconically that "therein lies the art of the architect". The hotel was originally planned and built for the Penta Group, run for a time as a Ramada, and now belongs to the Marriott Group. Thanks to its ideal accessibility and the easy transport connection to the town, the present Courtyard by Marriott immediately became one of the favourite hotel addresses in Linz.

Urban planning situation
Towards the Frankstrasse, the forecourt of the Design Centre is bordered by an elongated hotel building, which stops short of the crossing with the Goethestrasse, leaving the view open to include the Austrian Broadcasting Centre (opposite) in the ensemble. In front of the hotel block to the east is a triangular, single-storey structure with restaurant and bar.

Functional organisation and architecture
Access to the forecourt and to the underground car park is directly from the Frankstrasse. Lifts and staircases to the rooms are in the two-storey foyer, the central element of the hotel building. The restaurant and bar open on to the foyer, and the extensive fitness area is close by.

In the upper storeys, the rooms are on either side of central corridors. The distinctive feature of this building is the slight staggering of the two wings, which not only provides an ideal solution for the escape routes, but also makes the building look slimmer and more elegant. The façade is of brick elements, with exposed concrete on the end walls. The projecting exposed concrete elements on the side walls prevent fire spreading between floors, as well as lending structure to the façade and allowing full-length windows. This gives an impression of depth through the play of light and shade on the exterior, enhanced by the projecting roof.

Photos: Dietmar Tollerian, Kaufmann|Partner
Text: Norbert Tomasi
Architecture: ARGE Kaufmann|Partner und Arch. Herzog