Transforming the interiors of a historical post office

Nov 24, 2017

BEHF Architects transformed a former historical postal office to come up with a design that is stunning and modern.“It was our aim to connect the two historical halls and to create offices with highly modern infrastructure in the middle of the existing historical environment. The awards confirm that we were more successful than expected,” says Daniel Jelitzka, founding partner and managing director at JP Immobilien a Viennese real estate group. Armin Ebner of BEHF Architects describes the concept: “The room itself is already a great experience due to its impressive height, ceiling frescoes, and pilasters,” he says. “An additional highlight is two office areas that seem to be removed, appearing almost spherical. It is the contrast which makes the appearance and atmosphere so special.”



The architectural centre is an elaborate room-in-room construction with two minimalistic “boxes” that seem to be completely detached from the existing historical inventory: Opulent telegraph halls featuring stucco restored true to the original, and colourful wall paintings. As a result, the historical fabric remains unaffected and finally becomes visible after years of being hidden from the public. There are office spaces and conference rooms, as well as an area on the indoor roof which is intended for events.



The idea of connecting the building’s historical substance with modern components is already achieved in the entrance area of Telegraf 7, where minimalistic and historical elements are combined. While the original concrete steps were uncovered and refurbished, the architects chose a light-coloured terrazzo flooring harmonising perfectly with the richly ornamented wrought-iron banister with a wooden handrail. On the other hand, you reach the individual office units and lifts by going through doors featuring an extremely linear design combined with the brass coating’s warm surface.




About Telegraf 7—Office Building Vienna

Architect Eugen Fassbender designed the building in the 19th century as a telephone exchange for K. und K. Post- und Telegrafendirektion (postal and telegraphic administration). Back then, Fassbender established an exemplary connection between functionality and representative architecture in Lehárgasse No. 7. This historical heritage and the way the building is currently being used were, therefore, a crucial factor when choosing a new name: Telegraf 7—Office Building Vienna. Telegraf 7 is a classic revitalisation project, where a former telegraph office was converted into premium office real estate. The property now serves as company headquarters for JP Immobilien Group.

Photo credits: Hertha Hurnaus

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