architek[tour] tirol – guide to architecture in tyrol

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"not to miss" - highlights in and around innsbruck

Over the last decade, Innsbruck has been continuously changing, almost literally transforming, even partially re-inventing itself. The public spaces that were developed, and the buildings that were created, while transmitting a sense of internationality, precisely express and stress the local qualities of the "nature” of the city which is a city surrounded by nature.

Nationally and internationally renowned architects – mostly winners of competitions – realized the high-grade projects this tour is leading you to: the Bergisel ski jump and the Hungerburg cable car stations by Zaha Hadid, the new City Hall and mall by Dominique Perrault, the Central Transformer Station by UN Studio (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Boss), the SOWI Faculties of Social Sciences and Economics by Dieter Henke and Marta Schreieck, the BTV Stadtforum, a bank’s City Forum, by Heinz Tesar, and the new Tyrol department store by David Chipperfield. Additionally, you will see two very inspired and respectful transformations of essential monuments of classical modernism.

Übersichtskarte ausblenden
a tour to 11 buildings
01

Adambräu Brewery

Lois-Welzenbacher-Platz 1, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Rainer Köberl, Giner + Wucherer (2003-2004) Builder-owner: Stadt Innsbruck Open to the public: Tue-Fri 11 a.m.–6 p.m, Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (aut); by appointment only (University Architecture Archive) Accessibility: Close to the Central Station on Südbahnstraße, entrance from the courtyard in the back of the building
Tel. +43 (512) 57 15 67 (aut)
Tel. +43 (512) 507 33101 (Archiv für Baukunst)

This part of the former Adambräu brewery, a landmark industrial building of classical modernism by Lois Welzenbacher, came under the federal law on the protection of monuments when the brewery closed down. Most respectful, nearly invisible interventions turned the functionalist structure into what might be described as a pulsating machine to convey architecture. On the lower floors,aut. architektur und tirol continually proposes exhibitions and lectures on contemporary architecture, the upper floors are occupied by the University Architecture Archive.

© Lukas Schaller
02

Bergisel Ski Jump

Bergisel, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Zaha Hadid Architects (2001-2002) Builder-owner: Austria Ski Veranstaltungs GesmbH Open to the public: daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m, in the summer until 6 p.m.; there is an entrance fee. Accessibility: Tram number 1, and 20 minutes’ walk from the final station – or the Sightseer bus from the city centre TIP: Viewing platform and the "Café im Turm” restaurant on top of the approach tower

The new Bergisel ski jump is a landmark that is visible from most every part of town. The various functional elements, while still perfectly and precisely serving their purpose as mere instruments of sports competition, were moulded into an elegantly sculptural and expressively dynamic construction symbolising the ski jumper’s movement.

© Nikolaus Schletterer
03

Central Transformer Station

Salurnerstraße 11, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: UNStudio (1999-2000) Builder-owner: Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe AG Open to the public: no Next to the transformer station there is Innsbruck’s first high-rise building, designed by Lois Welzenbacher in 1926/27.

For the Amsterdam UN Studio (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Boss), this was the first international competition they won. The sculpturally carved building boasts an outer skin of black basalt, rising out of an environment of blackened concrete. The interior is, of course, not open to the public, it hosts the transformers and the control centre that are part of the essential infrastructure of the city.

© Nikolaus Schletterer
04

BTV Stadtforum

Erlerstraße 10, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Heinz Tesar, obermoser arch-omo (2004-2006) Builder-owner: BTV Open to the public: during regular banking hours, Mon-Fri, 7:45 a.m.–4 p.m. TIP: FO.KU.S – City forum photo art: expositions of contemporary art and photography

The BTV City Forum, right in the centre of the city core, is the bank’s new company headquarter, containing offices, an ample customers’ centre, an event hall and rooms for contemporary art and photography expositions. The sculptural building complex fits in well with the pre-existing Gruenderzeit block structure, the corner being marked by a striking tower. The core of the building is the grand soaring hall.

© N. Schletterer, © BTV
05

Department Store "Kaufhaus Tyrol"

Maria-Theresien-Straße 29–35, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: David Chipperfield, DMArchitekten (2008-2010) Builder-owner: Maria-Theresien-Straße Grundverwertungs GmbH Open to the public: during shop opening hours TIP: Located in the basement is an MPREIS supermarket designed by Rainer Köberl.

In the past years hardly any building scheme in Innsbruck sparked such heated discussions as the various projects for the new construction of the Kaufhaus Tirol (Tyrol Department Store). David Chipperfield was ultimately commissioned to not only design the "show front” on Maria-Theresien-Straße, but also the entire department store complex. In a respectful handling of the historical substance, he placed a decidedly restrained structure into the heterogeneous street ensemble, whose elongated façade is structured by a double bend and a recessed top floor.

© B&R
06

Rathausgalerien – City Hall and shopping mall

Maria-Theresien-Straße 18, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Dominique Perrault, ATP architekten ingenieure, RPM Architekten (1999-2002) Builder-owner: Rathauspassage GmbH Open to the public: Sun-Thu 7 a.m. to midnight; Fri, Sat 7 a.m.–2. a.m. (Mall) TIP: Take the elevator up the "City Hall Campanile” tower for the view from the "360°” café or the "Lichtblick” restaurant on the 7th floor, or go the "5th Floor” bar of the adjacent "The Penz” hotel.

What formerly used to be just a parking lot in the back of the old City Hall now has become an exciting mix of heterogeneous functions: city administration, city council, shopping mall, a hotel and various restaurants and cafés. Intelligently graded heights, a glass roof for the mall, plus a central "Campanile” – these are the main characteristics of an unpretentious and still very outspoken ensemble that easily and fluently manages to integrate the pre-existing older buildings and to connect to the cityscape around it.

© Nikolaus Schletterer
07

House of Music

Universitätsstraße 1, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Erich Strolz, Dietrich | Untertrifaller (2015-2018) Builder-owner: IIG Open to the public: Partially during opening hours Tip: "Das Brahms Restaurant” on the ground floor

Innsbruck’s "House of Music” can be found at one the most central locations in the inner city, where the city concert halls and chamber theater housed in the previous building were combined with numerous institutions dedicated to music. The complex spatial program is accommodated in a compact structure with a multilayered façade made of ceramic cladding. Emerging as independent elements, the publicly accessible hall bodies clearly distinguish themselves from those areas used for research, teaching and administration.

© Roland Halbe
08

SOWI – Faculties of Social Sciences and Economics

Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Henke Schreieck Architekten (1996-1999) Builder-owner: BIG Open to the public: partly The neighbouring building "MCI" was also designed by Henke and Schreieck.

The new Social Sciences and Economics building is a most important urban joint between the Old Town and the historical park of the Imperial Garden, widely commended not only as a great work of architecture, but as an achievement in urban development. Formerly, the massive military barracks had virtually occupied all the available space, tightly closing itself off from the street, now there is a vital public space, a truly "open university” in the heart of the city centre.

© Margeritha Spiluttini
09

Hungerburg Cable Railway – The Congress, Löwenhaus, Apine Zoo und Hungerburg stations

Rennweg 3 (Talstation Congress), 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Zaha Hadid Architects (2005-2007) Builder-owner: INKB Open to the public: daily 8:30 a.m.–17:30 p.m (when the cable car is running)

After the Bergisel ski jump, the four station buildings and the oblique suspension bridge across the river make up the second project Zaha Hadid realised in Innsbruck. Starting from the fundamental concept of a shell and the shadow thrown by it, she designed an organically shaped glass shell over a concrete landscape, the translucent roof spreading and extending, as it were, the stations’ spaces, thus staging a drama of movement adapted to the particular character of each location.

© Norbert Freudenthaler
10

Nordkette Cable Railway – Refurbishment of the Hungerburg, Seegrube and Hafelekar stations

Höhenstraße 145 (Talstation Hungerburg), 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Schlögl & Süß Architekten (2006) Builder-owner: INKB Open to the public: daily 8:30 a.m.–17:30 p.m (when the cable car is running) Accessibility: Hungerburg cable railway or bus J TIP: Fri, 6-11:30 p.m, night runs up to Seegrube

The stations originally designed in the late 1920s by Franz Baumann certainly are some of the most important monuments of modernism in Tyrol. In the course of a technological upgrade of the cable railway, the stations had inevitably to be adapted both functionally and spatially. All the necessary interventions, however, were developed strictly along the lines of either severely restoring the original building as designed by Baumann, thus cancelling all later additions, or ostentatiously showing contemporary additions to be just that: changes added because they were necessary.

© Nikolaus Schletterer
11

Urban Hybrid P2 | Innsbruck City Library

Amraserstraße 2-4, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: LAAC (2012-2018) Builder-owner: PEMA Immobilien GmbH Open to the public: Partially Tip: Exhibitions regularly take place at the Galerie Plattform 6020 and the Raum für Stadtentwicklung.

As the end result of an invited architecture competition, the multi-functional P2 building connects private and public interests as an urban hybrid. The pointed, almost 50-meter-high tower contains apartments, and the two-story base building provides space for the Innsbruck City Library, which features several reading zones and an event hall. In between, there is a public space designed as a reading deck, accessible via two flights of stairs, which invites visitors to linger without any pressure to consume.

© Marc Lins