February 02nd 2024

HELLA Architecture Club enters its third round

Building crisis as the greatest opportunity for creativity in architecture in 100 years

The construction industry is facing its biggest crisis in decades. Rising construction costs, high interest rates, and stricter environmental regulations are influencing how architects and planners design and realize their projects. At the third HELLA Architecture Club on January 17 at the Vienna Ballhaus, Professor of Architecture Dipl.-Ing. Christoph M. Achammer (CEO of ATP architekten ingenieure), Daniel Riedl, FRICS (Member of the Executive Board of Vonovia SE) and Thomas Winkler, LL.M. (CEO of UBM Development AG) discussed the balancing act between creativity and cost explosions.

The HELLA Architecture Club is a forum for networking, exchange and inspiration for architects, developers and the specialized media. The third event in the series focussed on the current crisis in the construction industry and its impact on architecture. Around 60 invited guests accepted the invitation to the exciting expert talk.

In his opening statement, Prof Achammer was convinced that the construction crisis would in no way result in a crisis of creativity - on the contrary: "The crisis is a great opportunity for our industry, which has been working with 30 to 50 per cent waste for 100 years. Tight economic conditions do not lead to fewer creative projects, but rather produce more innovative products!"

Thomas Winkler from UBM also agreed: "Prototype construction has been around for 100 years. We need to standardize and modularize much more instead of always improvising!" He doesn't see any loss of creativity or aesthetics either: "Not all cars look the same just because they are mass-produced. Standardization and modularization are crucial when it comes to reducing costs and speeding up processes," says Winkler. "We all strive to create something beautiful - but it doesn't necessarily have to be expensive!"

Daniel Riedl from Vonovia referred to the issue of cost pressure, particularly in the area of residential construction, and argued in favour of designing floor plans more efficiently and considering more communal areas. "Well thought-out floor plans can significantly reduce the cost of flats. At the same time, communal areas promote the idea of social community and help to strengthen communities within a building or neighbourhood!"

Moderator Rainer Nowak (Head of the Economy, Domestic and Foreign Policy Department at Kronen Zeitung) also asked the panel of experts about new developments in digitalization and current requirements in the area of sustainability. When it came to digitalization, all panellists saw clear "room for improvement" in the industry, while sustainability is now firmly anchored in the strategy of many companies. "A property that is not ESG-compliant will no longer be valuable in ten years' time," said Thomas Winkler.

Andreas Kraler, Managing Partner of the HELLA Group, was delighted with the exciting discussion and the lively audience participation in the subsequent Q&A session: "Exchange promotes creativity and reveals new perspectives. Regular dialogue is therefore immensely important, especially in challenging times, in order to develop solutions together and pave the way for the time after the crisis - and that is sure to come!"

With the kind support of © HELLA

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About our Partner Companies

HELLA is one of Europe's leading suppliers of sun, light, and weather protection systems for buildings with headquarters in Abfaltersbach (East Tyrol). 1,300 employees generated sales of 217 million euros worldwide in 2022.

The product portfolio includes coordinated exterior and interior shading solutions, security systems, and corresponding electronic controls. HELLA pursues a premium strategy and supplies products and services from a single source.

Since 2021, HELLA has supported the comprehensive practice-oriented training of students as a partner company of the dual bachelor's degree program Smart Building Technologies in the field of sun and weather protection technology.


The interdisciplinary cooperation between architecture and engineering and state-of-the-art knowledge management have enabled ATP to become Europe’s leading integrated design office.

More than 1,500 employees in its current thirteen offices in the DACH+CEE Regions design for clients from the research and industrial, retail, real estate, and health sectors, with the support of ATP’s own in-house research specialists, design and consulting companies.

Since 2012, ATP has exclusively designed digitally with BIM. In doing so, it uses the “corporate structure” of the group to permanently grow as a learning organization. In order to fulfill the responsibility of the building industry to future generations, the integrated design company has drawn up the ATP Green Deal, as confirmation of its complete commitment to climate-neutral and sustainable designing and building.