Meditation Retreat Gut Hochreute, Immenstadt (DE)

The conversion of the former exemplary agricultural estate into a center for a Buddhist community presented us with a special challenge. The task was to create a representative address out of the listed ensemble and the new buildings, a spiritual centre with a meditation hall, living facilities for visitors and permanent residents as well as seminar rooms of different sizes.

Our solution leaves the historic courtyard complex from 1910 completely untouched. An L-shaped, two-storey residential wing, partially integrated into the slope, adjoins the former farm building and forms its own courtyard. These two courtyards are interconnected and, with their differentiated open spaces, offer ideal conditions for running seminars.

The spatial structure is clear and uncluttered: the centre of the Buddhist community in the barn, seminar, residential and guest rooms in the new building around the courtyard.
The former farm building was completely rebuilt. The stable on the ground floor we converted into a foyer, dining room and central kitchen. The entire upper floor with its imposing exposed roof truss now serves as the central meditation hall (gompa). Thanks to the generously glazed extension, which houses the escape stairs, we could preserve the 550 m² column-free space under the mighty gabled roof could in its entirety.

The low-rise living and seminar wing with its green flat roof partially disappears into the slope. A well thought-out lighting concept nevertheless ensures a bright, friendly atmosphere: daylight falls into the building interior over two storeys between the concrete wall facing the slope and the corridor of the guest rooms. The seminar rooms and flats open up to the courtyard with spacious terraces and balconies, which is bordered downhill by a pergola that frames the view of the lake and mountains.

Client: Buddhismusstiftung Diamantweg
Location: D-87501 Immenstadt, Hochreute 1
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller with Roland Gnaiger
Project management: Günther Prechter
Competition: 2009
Construction: 2013-2015
Area: 4,300 m²
Ecology: Passivhaus-Standard
Capacity: 50 guestrooms

2015 German Timber Construction Award

structural engineering: gbd, Dornbirn / HAVCR: Mayer, Ottobeuren / lighting design: Pfarré, München / landscape: Bacher, Linz /// photos: © David Matthiessen; © Dietrich | Untertrifaller