Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
  • Ella Felber | Tiefer Graben/Hohe Brücke (Vienna, Austria)

  • Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler Helene Streissler
  • Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
  • Ella Felber | Tiefer Graben/Hohe Brücke (Vienna, Austria)
  • ‘Reading is not looking at, it is connecting, filtering, and seeing through. In other words, it is experiencing what emerges in our interaction with the world of the text. When we acquaint ourselves with our environment, we participate in its making.’

    There is a place shared by architecture and poetry. It emerges out of their overlay, and requires us to enter, to adapt, and to actively participate in its configuration. By perceiving, by using, by engaging and behaving, we create realities, and we change them. By interacting with our environment, be it the physical or the written, our experiences inscribe meaning, thereby we create a place.

    Unter der Hohen Brücke is an experiment. It consists of multiple attempts to construct a place within architecture and poetry, which can be entered and interacted with like a physical environment. In a case study – a reading – of Tiefer Graben/Hohe Brücke (Vienna, Austria) various writings and photographic interludes assemble in this book. While digging in this place, the essay ‘Writing as Architecture,’ a sequence of encounters ‘Im Inneren der Stadt,’ and a sketchbook ‘Unter der Hohen Brücke’ arise: from a reflective investigation, through directed, progressive explorations, to raw and intimate approaches.

    By writing for a place, the work is unsealing potentials and setting up possibilities to enter, interact and practise in the ambiguous space within architecture and poetry.

    For more info, including a video and a short interview:


    Ella Felber, born 1994, is a writing architect in Vienna. She studied architecture, spatial design, and performative arts in Vienna and Copenhagen. She explores culturally entangled spatial politics in the collective teil zeit raum, is co-founder of the magazine blank, and plans various transformations.

    Her works are experiments to create polyphonic places that emerge from sensation, memory, movement, and interaction.

    Unter der Hohen Brücke started as a Master’s Thesis at the Institute of Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2020. An edited version is published by Point Nemo Publishing, Remerschen 2021.


    The site visit is a crucial moment of contact in an architectural project, yet one that is usually cut short. By repeating, iterating, and elongating a visit, we start to linger. With the slow spatial practice of lingering, we allow the place to grow in our perception, in our descriptions – we transform a moment of contact into a place in itself. This can change and unfold unexpected insights, absurdities, and strangeness, which will in turn change our perception, and thus our interaction, and thus the place itself.

    A variety of writings constructs this site as a multi-perspectival narrative, a complex fabric, a polyrhythmic dance. For writing to be received and experienced – that is, to become architecture – it needs to be read. Every reading of this place elicits new encounters. Every reading iterates a construction.

    Visit, encounter, place, lingering, iteration, estrangement, poetry


    The poetic writings of Ilse Aichinger (e.g. Kleist, Moos, Fasane), Clarice Lispector (e.g. The Chandelier), and Dung Kai-cheung (Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City), among others, elicited the urge to read more and write myself. 

    Peter Mendelsund’s beautifully illustrated book What We See When We Read enabled me to connect the reading process to architectural experiences, emphasising the emancipatory role of the reader/visitor. 

    Marianne van Kerkhoven’s lecture Looking without pencil in the hand (Online: opened up many parallels between the practices of writing, dramaturgy,  and architecture; her twelve points became like a map to navigate the process.

    Other projects
  • Signal/Noise: Ambient Text in the Urban Landscape (ongoing project)
  • Site Stories: explorations of urban spaces through drawing and animation (25–29 April 2022)
  • Rainbow Palace, Bergen, Norway (March 2022)
  •  Acanthus, (March 2022)
  • Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
  • ‘Reading-writing alongside HALL08,’ HALL08 (2021)
  • Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Angelo Ciccaglione, ‘The back of the dust-machine, where the visitors pour the dust in,’ Rotterdam (2021)
    The Deposition of Dust (July 2021)
  • Skye Edge (April 2021)
  • Corvid-19 (15 March 2021)
  • 1_5
    Glòries_(Eixample). A dispositive for very slow aesthetic observation, (January 2021 –)
  • As Lightning to the Children Eased (January 2021)
  • Station F (October 2020)
  • It’s Just a Matter of Time (2020)
  • 1
    Inscription: the Journal of Material Text – Theory, Practice, History,
    issue # 1: ‘beginnings,’ (2020)
  • Homekeeping-image_sml
    Homekeeping (2020)
  • City Embers (2020)
  • Between Our Words I will Trace Your Presence (February 2020)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • Situated Writing as Theory and Method (2019)
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • Fields of Awareness, (2019, 3min 18 secs)
  • A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Poetic Water Boundaries: towards a possible borderless sea, (2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21 – 24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • A Lunar Perspective, (2018-2020)
  • Heaton Hall: A Palimpsest (2017)
  • Location (+) (2017)
  • There’s Sand in My Infinity Pool (2017)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • Agency at the threshold, (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23 – 26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016 – 2018)
  • Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • The Italic I (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • Urban Literacy (2013/2014/2016)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • Phantom Railings (2012 – 2017)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
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