Power Plants Vorarlberg, Bregenz (AT)

Since the late 19th century, electricity has been generated via hydropower at the Bregenzer Ach. After a corporate strategy overhaul by the energy company the site was redesigned, creating the prerequisites for a new industrial park that led to the opening of the site for visitors. In several construction stages along the industrial canal, new administration and workshop buildings, a museum (2003) in the old powerhouse and a small new power plant (2005), together with offices for other users, have emerged as an urban backbone intertwining the wetlands.
In the first construction phase, Dietrich | Untertrifaller erected the transformer station (1999), the high bay storage facility (2002) and the multipurpose building (2002). During the day, the greenish glistening façades made of profilit glass merge with the alluvial forest in the background. In the evenings, they gently shine from the inside, symbolizing the permanent power supply of the province. The long multipurpose building houses workshops and training classrooms. The white lower ground floor of the two-story part of the building supports a wooden superstructure. The single story part of the building also features dark stained timber cladding.
During the second construction phase, the old powerhouse with the annexed assembly shop and the former power line tower were converted for cultural and museum purposes (2003). Furthermore, truck garages and an administrative building (2004) as well as the mini power plant were erected (2005). The construction shell of the waterpower plant is an interpretation of the equidistance, which makes the generation of power possible. It also accounts for the dynamic element of water acceleration by diagonally converging sidewalls and roof on the downstream face. Exposed concrete determines the external appearance of the building and large glass windows occupy the methodically arranged openings.

Client: Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG
Location: A-6900 Bregenz, Weidachstraße 6
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Project management: Ralph Broger, T. Weber, H. Schlauch
Construction: 1998-2012/2018
Area: ca. 19,000 m²

2004 Arge-Alp-Preis, 2005 Client’s Award Vorarlberg

structural engineering: VKW Bregenz und gbd, Dornbirn / building services: VKW, Bregenz; Klimaplan, Hohenems; Team GMI, Dornbirn / light: Keller, St. Gallen / landscape: Rotzler+Krebs, Winterthur /// photos: © Bruno Klomfar