Simone Schütz

The ‘Herrenmühle‘ a former watermill and significant housing complex in the small town Haslach in Upper Austria is the starting point of this thesis. The building was first mentioned in 1379 and transformed into residential property for textile factory workers in the 19th century. In the beginning the building is analysed in the larger context of the history of Haslach and the region. The process of industrialization and the ensuing period of structural change left their marks in the area, which become significantly visible when looking at the river course of the ‘Große Mühl’. In the further analysis the typical ‘problems’ of the so called rural area (migration outflow, shrinking, demographic change and commuting to the workspace) will be investigated site-specifically. This raises the questions: What is the countryside today? What is the conception of ‘rural area’ and what are the strategies and trends for the future. In the last part of this thesis book a new utilization concept for the ‘Herrenmühle’ is developed. The concept ‘her’mühl’ creates a mix of long-term and short term accommodation and allows a flexible use of the old building. The approach of the design is to find a new interpretation for the existing structure. A new layer is added which overlays with the existing and brings new perspectives into existence.

The master thesis  her'mühl concept for long- and short term housing was supervised by Andreas Lichtblau (Institute of Housing).