Festspielhaus I, Bregenz (AT)

The architects won the 1992 competition with a project that contained elements showing an extremely disciplined organization and restraint. At once it promised to give identity to the previously rather conventional plot by means of a high-stilted girder construction, integrating the partial functions, with a spectacular effect. Today, the broadly paned building faces are well visible from both the lake and the park, the high steel framework appearing significant from the side. Offices of administration and production cover two stories in the dominating component, with a coffee shop set up in its end. The wooden construction shows walls cooled with lake water and shoved into a steel framework box girder spanning twice 50m. Its entire interior length can be experienced in a gangway structured by three flights of stairs. On the town side, the prominently located entrance hall offers a view upon the Pfänder.
In the west, a mighty ashlar makes itself felt as the second principal body shell in this strongly structured complex. It contains the so-called variously utilizable Workshop Stage, which offers one of the supraregionally largest, unspecifically conceived spaces for performing arts. The Lake Studio, a smaller event hall, borders on the Lake. On the lakeside, the foyer extension placed in front shows a completely open glass face and allows a wonderful view over the Lake Constance.

Client: Stadt Bregenz, Land Vorarlberg, Republik Österreich
Location: A-6900 Bregenz, Symphonikerplatz 1
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Project management: Susanne Gaudl
Competition: 1992
Construction: 1995-1997
Area: 7,270 m²

Awards
1998 Vorarlberger Holzbaupreis and Bauherrenpreis, 2007 International Architecture Award

Partner
structural engineering: Ziesel, Vienna; Plankel, Bregenz /// photos: © Bruno Klomfar