Social Center Kirchbergerhaus, Wolfurt (AT)

The former village pub below the western front of an elevated church is part of the old center of Wolfurt. Following a lengthy phase of decline and decay, an integral concept of revitalization brought about a turn that was also beneficial to the attractive, old Rhine-valley house. The new concept suggested to the masonry ground floor to host a bar, adjacent to a shop with alternated offset entresol levels, covering two stories. A spacious vestibule with a straight stairway intersects the upper floors.
With long benches alongside the windows, the low-ceiling rooms of the old structure’s substance typologically correspond to classical farmhouse rooms, yet materialized in cost saving woodwork, they provide a contemporary ambience. The small hall on the second floor serves larger group events. A lift provides easy access on all levels of the Social Center. Three emergency accommodations were set up in the attic.
The outside of the house represents the conventionally familiar architecture with its renewed shingle roof and vertical batten formwork. A high window with a sliding panel and the swivel mounted, shed-door-sized wings of the shop’s paned entrance together form a withdrawn reference to the implemented change of occupancy. Conversely, the skylight, making use of the offset in the front wall toward the adjacent house, is a subtle reinterpretation of the external volumetric configuration, determined by protective regulations. The coincidental element characterizing houses with a complex architectural history is thus used to make a contemporary statement and give an important impulse to the otherwise meagerly orchestrated interior.

Client: Marktgemeinde Wolfurt
Location: A-6922 Wolfurt, Kellhofstraße
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Project management: Walter Felder
Competition: 1989
Construction: 1991-1994
Capacity: communal facilities, catering, shops, 2 small apartments

photos: © Adolf Bereuter