ERA21 #06/2021 Alpine Architecture: Tyrol

kniha editorial

The Tyrol Stint

Filip Landa

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Czech Architecture Award 2021 »

The results of the 6th Czech Architecture Award 2021 organized by the Czech Chamber of Architects were announced during a gala evening in Forum Karlin in Prague on November 9th. The main award was given to Miroslav Pospíšil and Martin Karlík from atelier-r for a Helfštýn Castle Palace Renovation near Týn nad Bečvou. At the same time the jury announced six other finalists and also partners’ awards and a special awards.


kniha completed project

Of Houses and Courtyards. Židlochovice Community Center »


In the hands of mayor Jan Vitula and architect Pavel Jura, the South-Bohemian town of Židlochovice seems to be thriving lately. One recent fruit of this collaboration was the new community center right next to the town hall, which replaced three decrepit private houses. The Center is organized around a series of inner courtyards and passages. Flanking the south side of the main courtyard is the medium-sized multipurpose social event space, opposite the open barn structure for wedding receptions and other celebrations. A short bridge links the Center to the town hall. This practical connection meant that several town hall offices found their way into the Center's upper floor. The town hall's growing office space requirements could be seen as a byproduct of all the construction activity evident elsewhere around town. Židlochovice already finished its new train station, revitalized the bus station, opened a new public park and built a stormwater wetland. Next in line, a sustainable residential neighborhood and a sponge park along the Svratka riverfront. Clearly, keeping an eye on Židlochovice in the next few years is a good idea.

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Alpine Visions »

Bruno Taut

After the First World War and the disintegration of the German empire, and influenced by the texts of his friend and writer, Paul Scheerbart, architect Bruno Taut presented his ideal vision for the rebuilding of the world. He called on the European nations to unite together for a joint challenge—to beautify the Alps with fantastic palaces and crystalline structures. His series of large-scale drawings made by pencil, pen, and sometimes watercolors, is considered the magnum opus of one of the 20th century's most prominent architects. The five-part series of thirty drawings was published by Folkwang publishing house in 1919. Although it is possible to interpret Taut's poetic vision as a counterweight to the post-war social and political situation, it always stayed a utopia. Only in recent years has his concept of mountain architecture as a symbiosis of nature and artistic creation gained traction once again.


From Architecture in the Alps to Alpine Architecture »

Jon Mathieu

In Alpine Architecture, Bruno Taut's series of drawings published in 1919, the architect is presented as the demiurge seeking to beautify nature by perfecting it. In Taut's utopian visions, the design that works toward a crystalline purity and aesthetic refinement is considered a desirable human intervention to tame and perfect God's nature. In functionalist architecture the idea of architect as demiurge grew even stronger, although the expressionist mysticism and transcendentality gave way to a more pragmatic approach, concentrated primarily on the physical well-being of the "new man." Suddenly, pristine nature became an ideal place for recreation. That is, after it is organized by the architect, to be fit to serve the man. Are there any traces of these changing ideologies left in the architecture of the Alpine region? Does unique alpine architecture even exist?


On the Centrality of Space in the Project of Regeneration of Mountains and Internal Areas »

Antonio De Rossi, Laura Mascino

The crisis brought on by Covid-19 has dramatically highlighted how the territorial dimensions have long been excluded from national policies, to be reduced to a mere diagrammatic and abstract space. An unphysicality of things that is also conveyed through philosophies of smart or replicable best practices, based on the idea that following a procedure is enough to solve the complexities of contemporary life. The crisis has also brought to light the themes of internal, mountain and marginal areas, which have already received strong and growing attention in recent years. All the research of the last few years demonstrates how the frontier of innovation is to be found in remote areas, in territories such as the Alpine and Apennine ones, in regeneration projects based on culture, community cooperatives, resettlements that arise on the recovery of legacy and on new technologies. These experiments are as fragile as the places they insist on, but there the territorial and spatial dimensions play an active and new role which should be carefully observed, given the new openings it can offer.


Südtirol/Alto Adige. Contemporary Architecture Between Past and Present »

Carlo Calderan

What binds together, besides geographical continuity, the numerous types of contemporary South Tyrolean architecture? Can they function as a reverberation of the peculiarities of a region which tends to underline its uniqueness? There is certainly no common school. South Tyrolean architects study north and south of the Alps. They are translators of experiences gained elsewhere in a context that ends up uniting them. Numerous competitions, the dissemination of their results, and a rich ten-year activity of publications and exhibitions have contributed to good mutual knowledge, and a fruitful exchange between the different schools of origin. There is a shared effort to give shape to the strong economic development that the province has been experiencing for the past several decades, while also accepting the problems and contradictions tied to this growth. One such problem being the replacement of the old agricultural landscape with the new and sometimes lacerating landscape of tourism.

kniha interview

Let Buildings Age with Dignity. Armin and Alexander Pedevilla Interviewed by Filip Landa »

Founded by brothers Armin and Alexander in 2005, Pedevilla Architects gradually managed to establish themselves on the international stage and even scooped up several major architectural prizes in the process. The following interview gives insight into their unique design process, as well as the historical and cultural context of South Tyrol, arguably the driver behind the consistently high quality local architecture and building crafts.

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completed project

The Contemporary Layer. Renovation, Adaptation and Extension of the Neustift/Novacella Abbey »

MoDus Architects

A new visitor entrance hall and exhibition space were added to the 12th-century Augustinian abbey of Neustift/Novacella. Three auxiliary buildings were transformed and renovated to create a double-height entry hall with a ticket counter, a sweeping staircase leading to new exhibition rooms, and a separate seminar and event space. The copper-clad bridge connecting the staircase to the main wing on the second floor is the only true extension, joining together the historical and the contemporary layers of the buildings.

completed project

Where the Wine Ripens. Hotel Pacherhof Wine Cellar Restoration and Extenstion in Vahrn »


The Hotel Pacherhof building sits in the middle of the vineyards of the Valle Isarco, only a few hundred meters from the old Neustift/Novacella Abbey. The existing vaulted cellar accessed from the hotel’s main building was renovated. A narrow stairway connects to the new wine cellar, which extends seamlessly underground, integrated with the sloped terrain. The extension is used for wine production and storage. In the highest point of the site, a funnel-shaped polygonal tower emerges above ground. Inside is located a private tasting room and an office.

completed project

Icy Views. Viewing Platform on the Grawand Mountain »

noa* network of architecture

Floating a few feet above the rock, a corten steel observation deck perches on top of the Ötztal Alps border ridge. The design incorporates the pre-existing summit cross to make up an observation deck used by hikers, skiers and other guests at the Hotel Grawand, located only about 50 meters away. Six steel columns support the lightweight structure, giving it an appearance of hovering above the mountain scenery.

completed project

Under the Waterfall. Grawa Waterfall Observatory »

firn architekten

After having been severely damaged by local floods in 2017, the observatory at the Grawa Waterfall in the Stubai valley was replaced by a new structure. Located on the main tourist trail passing along the valley, the observatory forms a footbridge over the Sulzenaubach stream. A rising tribune with sunbeds serves as a lookout and meeting point. Here the visitors can relax and bathe in the mist of the icy waterfall. The organic form of the wooden platform is inspired by the sedimentary deposits of glaciers, symbolizing the forces of nature coming to rest. The new structure is also wheelchair accessible.

completed project

The Best Pics. Knottnkino3 Hiking Trail with Rest Stops in Vöran »

Messner Architects

The three Knottn—red porphyry-hills—emerge suddenly from the forest and meadow landscapes of Vöran and lend the area its distinctive character. The circular hiking trail Knottnkino3 connects the three rock formations to newly created rest and lookout-point stops. Inspired by the existing open-air “movie theater” Knottnkino (conceptualized and created by the artist Franz Messner in 2000), the lookout-points offer only a few individual seats or simple benches carved into solid rock. But hearing the wind whistle in the trees and seeing the rocky mountaintops creates a truly authentic experience, a sense of a theater grander than any multiplex.


Art in the Dolomites. The Fifth SMACH Land Art Biennial in San Martin de Tor »

Who would pass up an opportunity for a three-day contemporary art trek through the Italian Dolomites? A part of this year’s edition of the SMACH land art biennial, this rather extreme, 70-kilometer-long trekking tour with accommodations in mountain huts took hikers to all ten winning project sites. This way the art installations can be appreciated in their unique natural context—at the top of a mountain, on the surface of a glacial lake, in the middle of a forest. Shorter one-day trips to one or two projects were also available. Selected works from previous editions of the biennial are on permanent display in an open-air art park in San Martin.



Interior Design: Vision and Innovation

Iva Bastlová


Structural Solutions for Passive Houses

Libor Hrubý

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

Phone: +420 530 500 801
Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
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