This proposal comes from Zechner and Zechner’s winners entry for the Reißeck Top Terminal Competition, a new mountain restaurant at 2250 meters above sea level in the Austrian Alps. In addition, the building with include a top terminal for the Reißeck incline railway, along with information and display areas. Read on for more information after the break.
The new top terminal has been interpreted as constructed landscape, which has developed naturally from the topography. The curving lower part of the station follows the contours of the surrounding landscape, and these are accentuated by their stone materiality. The roof encroaches on the building like a protective overhang of snow. Despite avoiding the vernacular architecture of alpine construction, this solution has produced a sensitive response to this unique location.
On the approach, the visitor is heralded by a sequence of different rooms. The ground floor, which is integrated into the slope and is closed to the outside world, is reminiscent of caves and tunnels. Transitioning between these internal spaces into the restaurant and upper portion of the terminal emphasizes the feeling of freedom on the landscape and a reintroduction into the sculpted space of the architecture.
The exposed conditions at this site require a high proportion of prefabrication, as well as an optimum size of building element for transport and assembly. The selection of wood as the main construction material allows a good balance between these constraints. Heating and hot water will primarily be provided by solar thermal collectors, which will allow solar energy to provide a large proportion of the building’s power.