Reisseck mountain restaurant and visiting center – international competition 2011 (1st prize)

Area: 1180 m2

Location: Reisseck, Austria

Project status: Under construction

This project won the 1st prize on the international competition in 2011. Snøhetta was third.

Object will be built 2250 meters above sea level in Austrian Alps.  The building will include a top terminal for the Reisseck incline railway, along with information and display areas.

The new top terminal has been interpreted as constructed landscape, which has developed naturally from the topography. The curving lower part of the station follows the contours of the surrounding landscape, and these are accentuated by their stone materiality. The roof encroaches on the building like a protective overhang of snow. Despite avoiding the vernacular architecture of alpine construction, this solution has produced a sensitive response to this unique location.
On the approach, the visitor is heralded by a sequence of different rooms. The ground floor, which is integrated into the slope and is closed to the outside world, is reminiscent of caves and tunnels.

Ground floor plan:


First floor plan:


Section A-A:


Transitioning between these internal spaces into the restaurant and upper portion of the terminal emphasizes the feeling of freedom on the landscape and a reintroduction into the sculpted space of the architecture.

The exposed conditions at this site require a high proportion of prefabrication, as well as an optimum size of building element for transport and assembly. The selection of wood as the main construction material allows a good balance between these constraints.  Object will be used only during the summer months. Heating and hot water will be provided by solar thermal collectors, which will allow solar energy to provide a large proportion of the building’s power.

Object will only be used during summer months (June,July,August) which gives huge opportunities for usage of solar power. I made a calculation in Eco-designer, which shows that more than a half of energy supply during these three months can be achieved by using solar panels:

EcoDesigner’s Monthly Energy Balance:


Christoph Zechner and me worked on this project.

My colleague Karim el Seroui helped me with ground floor plan schedule.

I created the 3d model. Renderings were done by, and were officially used for the competition:




Cardboard model of the roof construction I made:


I did my renderings, few weeks after I finished my work at Zechner & Zechner. Along with the first image in this post, here are few more of my renderings:









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