ECHO Youth Centre

Graz, AT

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A meeting place surrounded by nature.

The ECHO Youth Centre in Graz (AT) is a protected meeting place for young people. The building is nestled into the green urban recreation area close to Fröbelpark and supports the values and objectives of youth work with its building style: Openness, room for individuality and independence, promoting social competences. With its MM crosslam cross-laminated timber Mayr-Melnhof Holz provided a top material perfectly matching the building. Thanks to the use of visible wood inside and out, the building radiates a warm, soothing feel-well atmosphere, creating an optimal meeting space for sports, handicrafts, playing and studying for these young people.

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Start of planning
Start of construction
Building owner
City of Graz
Architects Bernd Pürstl and Herwig Langmaier
Timber construction company
Strobl Bau - Holzbau GmbH
Material supplier
Mayr-Melnhof Holz Gaishorn

80 m3 of MM crosslam cross-laminated timber

The ECHO Youth Centre is a protected space offering young people a wide range of development possibilities. A central youth room, workshop rooms, actual workshops, a band rehearsal room, a youth café and a generous outdoor area offer various spaces to meet and exchange ideas. Wood dominates the interior and exterior alike. The objective and specifications in the tender were to achieve the greatest possible visibility and clarity of the interior and exterior areas and, at the same time, to create individual outdoor areas while adhering to a tight budget.

The architecture supports the modern care concept, which provides a lively meeting place and spaces for retreat as well as for joint activities. “You can't compare it to the old building in which we used to work. The large glass surfaces open and brighten up the room. The wood surfaces create a cosy, pleasant feel-good atmosphere for adolescents. As you can imagine, that's particularly important for our work with these adolescents,” says Günter Bruchmann, the Youth Centre’s Manager. Some of the wooden surfaces on ceilings, walls and furniture were processed in the Centre’s own workshops by and with the teenagers under supervision of the care staff. This strengthens the users’ identification with the facility, creating the basis for the young people to feel at home. The use of visible wood on furniture, ceilings and walls lends the rooms a warm atmosphere, making it easier for the youths to get used to their new surroundings. Moreover, the wood used naturally regulates and makes the indoor climate healthier. The City of Graz, which operates this facility, couldn't be happier with this successfully implemented building.

» Jugendzentrum ECHO, Graz (
Housewarming Jugendzentrum Echo | proHolz Steiermark (

Photo credits: proHolz Steiermark

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