1.         City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg (Austria) (C 931bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1999

Criteria  (ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/931/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/931/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS missions in February 2005 and October 2006.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban development pressure

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/931/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

At the request of the Austrian authorities, a UNESCO/ICOMOS expert mission went to the property on 20 October 2006 to follow up on the first joint mission of February 2005. The mission evaluated the re-worked design and possible adaptation of the Department Store project of Kastner & Öhler, located in the core zone of the property. Major architectural changes for the project have been proposed (i.e. reduction of height, reduction of number of shed roofs, integrating staircases and access to the roof). These changes were welcomed by the mission, but a number of points still need to be discussed within the consultation process, particularly the impact of the air-conditioning, and other technical elements, relationships between materials, colours, design and maintenance implications.

Furthermore, the legally binding plan must be implemented by the City of Graz to ensure the quality of the Kastner & Öhler project during the subsequent planning stages. A contract between the City of Graz and the Kastner & Öhler Company should also be negotiated in order to integrate the new project into the protected urban landscape. This contract should include the following elements:

a) At least the two highest roofs should be reduced;

b) Consideration should be given to revising the gables by closing them;

c) All technical equipment should be precisely defined and integrated into the shed roofs;

d) The staircases should be taken into consideration;

e) There should be no large window or glass elements, which are inappropriate in this context. Any larger windows should be divided or structured so as to give a homogeneous appearance.

In addition, the mission provided the authorities with two specific recommendations designed to inform local communities:

f) To illustrate the height of the roof elements by means of scaffolding so as to permit a realistic assessment of their impact on the World Heritage historic centre;

g) To provide an example of the materials to be used in the building so as to make it possible to evaluate the roofscape as seen from the Schlossberg in its impacts on the famous view of the city.

The State Party’s report sent on 1 February 2007 clearly indicated that the City of Graz will take into account the recommendations expressed during the expert mission. In addition, a statement by representatives of the Kastner & Öhler department store was also included in the report, accepting the recommendations made by the mission.

On 31 January 2007 the State Party submitted a management plan and a master plan for the World Heritage property. While the State Party in its report informed about the elaboration of the two plans, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS regret that no additional information about on-going and new large-scale construction projects in the core and the buffer zones of the property was provided by the State Party.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.106

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.76, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Notes with satisfaction that the State Party has submitted a management plan and a master plan for the World Heritage property;

4.       Encourages the State Party to continue the implementation of the mission’s recommendations, in accordance with the Vienna Memorandum “World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape” (2005);

5.       Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an updated report on the current situation and on any major development projects by 1 February 2009 for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.