- Project Team: Andreas Dirnberger, Bernhard Wachter, Gonzalo Cieza, Caroline Volz, Franziska Abler
- Planning And Supervision: Albert Rüf, Frank Stasi
- Project Leader: Rike Kress
- City: Zell am See
- Country: Austria
Text description provided by the architects. The Schmiedhof Alm Restaurant lies in the exclusive Zell am See Ski region of Austria, 1,720 meters above sea level. In the course of a single generation, the new owners of the Schmiedhof Alm have managed to create one of the finest restaurants in the area. In an effort to make the restaurant truly world class, a complete renovation of the old building was required. The Architecture was an integral part of the new, innovative gastronomic concept. Providing an atmosphere that invites the Skiers and diners to linger and enjoy their time. A stark contrast to the mass production facilities commonly found in Ski resorts.
The appearance of the new building combines traditional style with a strong contemporary architectural influence. The concept is based around the careful addition of volumes in a range of forms: a classically styled timber ski hut with a pitched roof was placed on top of the existing basement. The additional monolithic concrete element, binds the building to the surrounding mountains.
The perforation or openings of the building followed two basic principles: The windows of the concrete basement level and the monolith were pressed inwards to intensify the immense sense of mass of these elements. In contrast, the panoramic windows of the timber construction are pushed outwards, as if parts of the inside are trying to peer out. The resulting booths offer a unique view of the ‘Grossglockner’ mountain.
The food and drink service takes place in the elongated timber structure as well as in the outdoor terraced area, each supporting up to 200 skiers at once. With the innovative service of the introduced Ski-Drive-In quality dining is also made available for price conscious customers. For customers, the column-free guest area provides and open feel, with easy access to all areas. Window seats and careful partitions enhance the homely feeling, encouraging guests to take their time and enjoy the views. The use of exposed timber beams, interspersed with a sound absorbing lattice, further adds to this feeling despite the restaurant being able to accommodate many guests at once.
KLH – solid wood panels: The main structure of the ski hut consists of visual standard KLH solid wood panels on the interior. KLH was also used for the large, highly insulated windows that creates both spatially effective elements, and additional seating niches. These KLH panels were mounted on brackets before being covered with felt to provide the seating.
ARSP furn – customized designed and handcrafted furniture:All the interior furniture, except the chairs, was customized designed and handcrafted: tables in various sizes, benches, partitions, wardrobes, cupboards and so on. The furniture carefully partitions the open, column-free area and enhances the homely feeling, encouraging guests to take their time and enjoy the views.