Silvrettahaus, Bielerhöhe (AT)
The “Silvretta-Alpenstrasse” road culminates upon Bielerhöhe – a location where a gravity dam of the “Vorarlberger Illwerke” creates a reservoir lake. This tremendous intervention and the impressive alpine landscape of the Piz Buin, the highest mountain in Vorarlberg attract numerous tourists for whom a self-service restaurant was set up at sea level. Replacing a hotel complex from the 1950s, the slightly set-off construction rises on the southern tip, at 2,040 m above sea level. It serves as a restaurant and hotel with 28 beds, a street-cleaning base and a hospice where travelers find shelter and protection.
Client: Vorarlberger Illwerke AG
Location: A-6793 Gaschurn-Partenen
Architecture: Much Untertrifaller and Much Untertrifaller sen., Gerhard Hörburger
Capacity: 28 beds
statics: Albert Plankel, Bregenz / heating, solar concept: Herbert Hobi, Aadorf (CH) / sanitary, electrics: Vorarlberger Illwerke AG, Bregenz
Photos: © Bruno Klomfar, © Adolf Bereuter
With this meticulous and robust work, we continued our independent building in the Alps. Our architecture lacks all gimmicks; instead, it presents a clear structural and spatial concept that gains even more credibility through its disciplined implementation.
The long body shell swings back and follows the contour lines, such that the hotel rooms unfold to the alpine panorama. To the north, a reinforced-concrete wall shields the structure, offering space for a cascade stairway and loft-like room access in the long-drawn intermediate zone toward the hotel section. To the east, the concrete wall is pushed out beyond the building and intersects with the building high solar collectors. The main entrance refers to the axis of the dam’s coping.
The smooth, white house wall rises above a strong natural stone base. A wooden pent roof completes the classic three-part structure at the top. The back of the building, made of exposed concrete with a steel escape staircase, has a backstage appearance.
Vorarlberger Illwerke AG – the largest employer and main beneficiary of the Silvretta region – fulfilled its responsibility to create an appropriate replacement for the demolished hotel. Despite initial resistance from the major shareholder Verbundgesellschaft and the municipality of Gaschurn, the project was realized without cutbacks.
Elegant, functional Design
Below the two hotel floors, the ground floor accommodates a restaurant, kitchen and a conference room. The tension between the straight lines of the staircase cascade and the curvilinear arrangement of the guest rooms stimulates the inner circulation.
The rooms are simple, functional and yet of gentle elegance. Aluminum shutters and birch wood furniture characterize the design. Yet the view is simply spectacular.