architek[tour] tirol – guide to architecture in tyrol

Weiter zur mobilen Version von: architek[tour] tirol

josef lackner - a tyrolean architect

Josef Lackner (1931 – 2000) is generally considered one of the most influential postwar architects. His projects, which meet with growing interest and are widely acknowledged now even on an international scale, are convincing, regardless of fashions and trends, because of their striking structural qualities and the rigorously stringent logic. His buildings are clear and outspoken architectural statements, basic solutions to problems presented by an individual building project, attitudes transformed, as it were, into the organisation of space.

This tour leads – in chronological sequence – to some outstanding works of this architect that are still largely preserved in their original state and convey his uncompromising and rigorous, sometimes even caustic, architectural position.

Übersichtskarte ausblenden
a tour to 12 buildings

Pfarrkirche St. Pius (St. Pius parish church)

Spingeser Straße 14, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1958-1960) Builder-owner: Pfarre St. Pius X. Open to the public: by appointment only Accessibility: on Schützenstraße, bus O from the city centre Artworks by Hans Ladner.
Close by you find the new BTV branch by Hannes Vogl-Fernheim (2004).

The church for the new Olympic Village was Lackner’s first major building. With the spatial organisation as well as the then "strange” choice of materials (raw concrete, granite cobblestones) he was way ahead of his time. The square central congregation room rests on a somewhat higher podium and is encircled by a low balustrade wall. This rather closed "central box”, as one might describe it, is then surrounded, on a slightly lower lever, by a stations of the Cross assageway the glass panels of which open up to the everyday life outside.

© Nikolaus Schletterer

Pfarrkirche St. Emmaus, Völs (St. Emmaus parish church)

6176 Völs, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1965-1967) Builder-owner: Diözese Innsbruck Artworks by Josef Mikl
More recent adjacent buildings, unfortunately, have had a negative effect on the way the building dialogues with the landscape.

The striking trench-shaped roof of the white building is not a mere theatrical gesture, it is meant to convey that this is a very special building. At the same time, it holds the wooden ceiling of the interior, thus creating a very introspective room for worshipping. The light strictly comes from above; this and the minimalistic choice of only two materials for the interior strongly underline the sacrality this space is meant to exude.

© feilfoto (© Fam. Lackner)

Grottenbad Flora (Indoor pool. destroyed in 2018)

Gramartstraße 2, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1969) Builder-owner: Paul Flora

With this small indoor pool in a private garden Lackner gave a totally new meaning to what apparently was a rather insignificant and traditional task. It is a small, freely and unconventionally shaped closed space; the light filters through seven Perspex cupolas. It is, thus, also a very intimate private space, and the light dancing on the water adds sensuous joy to the swimming. After a change of ownership, the bath was destroyed in 2018.

© Christof Lackner

Pfarrzentrum St. Norbert (St. Norbert parish centre)

Köldererstraße 6, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1969-1972) Builder-owner: Pfarre St. Norbert Open to the public: partly Artworks by Anton Tiefenthaler

To create the necessary space for a variety of purposes without, however, outgrowing the scale, both in area and volume, of the surrounding buildings, Lackner designed a two-storey building, setting the congregation room, most unusually, on the top floor. The main building is more or less "a house just like any other”, but is then upgraded by a lateral cover and a ceiling ideally as well as structurally separated from it.

© feilfoto (© Fam. Lackner)

Haus Maier

Schießstand 6, 6401 Hatting, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1977) Builder-owner: Josef Maier South oft the house, Lackner built a studio and storeroom that was also meant to serve as a protective wall against avalanches and landslides.

The patron wanted an economical wooden house, so Lackner "simply” designed a wooden structure radially hanging from a concrete pile. The consequent mushroom-like shape beautifully responds also to the special needs of the patron. The very self-assertive building, although not resembling any familiar typology, due to the choice of materials, fits well into the environment.

© feilfoto (© Fam. Lackner)

Ursulinenschule (The Ursulines’ School)

Fürstenweg 86, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1980) Builder-owner: Konvent der Ursulinen The adjacent nunnery and boarding school of the Ursulines was also built by Lackner (1971 – 1979).

The Ursulines’ School, dating back to the Seventies, is radically different, both spacially and structurally, from any other school building in Austria. The Public School is built up in layers, as it were. The classrooms, every single one getting daylight from two sides, are situated on the top floor, the sports and leisure sections form an open central space on the ground floor as well as underground. The structure consists of one-storey-high steel frames with diagonal braces, which not only determines the way the building presents itself to view, it defines also the sequence of large-scale interior spaces allowing for manifold visual interrelations.

© Christof Lackner

Lichtlabor Bartenbach (Bartenbach Light Lab)

Rinner Straße 14, 6071 Aldrans, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1988) Builder-owner: Bartenbach GmbH Open to the public: by appointment only. Accessibility: Road from Aldrans to Rinn. The adjacent building is the Bartenbach Light Academy by Volker Giencke (2003).

This singular building, for a very innovative light-planning company, was designed with the interplay of function and surrounding landscape as a starting point. The building lot and the road are at very much differing levels, so Lackner carved the laboratory building into the slope, topped by a cylindrically shaped staff building with an entrance at the medium level. Starting from there, two "office spirals” – every workplace at a different level, but with generous daylight – lead upwards and downwards, covering the height of two floors in either direction.

© Christof Lackner

Wohnanlage Amthorstraße (apartment building)

Amthorstraße 51-57, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1992) Builder-owner: Neue Heimat Tirol On the other side of the street there are the "Ahornhof” and "Lindenhof” residential complexes (by Richard Dagostin, 1940), which were part of a 1200 apartments program for German speaking South Tyroleans who had to leave their home-country following the "ethnic cleaning” scheme agreed upon by Hitler und Mussolini.

Across the street from the "South Tyrolean Settlement” of the ‘40s, Lackner built his version of low-income housing. The rather flat and long-stretched volume is accentuated by wave-like rising structures above the four entrance areas; the apartments here are shifted upwards by a half storey. The rhythm of the spacious oriels that are a characteristic element of these buildings is determined by the different types and sizes of the apartments.

© Christof Lackner

Verwaltungsgebäude Binder Holz (Binder Holz corporate headquarters)

Zillertalstraße 39, 6263 Fügen, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1995-1996) Builder-owner: Binder Holz In the area occupied by the company, there are also other buildings worth a look or two: Administration building extension (2007) and the "fireworks” biomass power plant (2004) by Helmut Reitter, and workshop buildings by tatanka (2007).

For quite a while now, the Binder wood corporation has made architectural quality part of its corporate identity, small wonder, then, that Josef Lackner was asked – among others – to realize several buildings for the company. With the shingles wrapping the striking building, Lackner calls the viewers’ attention to the fact that wood is, after all, what the company is about. Wood is also the main material chosen for the interior, creating an unmistakable special flair.

© Christof Lackner

Schichtholzwerk Binder Holz (Binder Holz wood layer factory)

Tiwagstraße 3, 6200 Jenbach, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1996) Builder-owner: Binder Holz Close by is the "Jenbacher AG” area which also contains an office building and a factory building by Lackner, and an MPREIS store and the Jenbach Cantina by Helmut Reitter and Michael Pfleger.

This is a both structurally and spatially most intriguing variation on the theme of industrial buildings: Without any support, folding wood box elements stretch over two shops, each 44 m broad and over 100 m long. Through glass panels along the single elements, which somewhat resemble boats turned upside down, daylight flows in freely. The zigzag movement of the diagonal entrenchments adds rhythm to the façade.

© Christof Lackner

Dolmetsch-Institut und Mensa der Universität Innsbruck(University of Innsbruck school of translators and cafeteria)

Herzog-Siegmund-Ufer 15, 6020 Innsbruck, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (1998-2000) Builder-owner: UNI Innsbruck Open to the public: Partly

To the adjacent building south of this one, Lackner (1995-96) added a "crown”, the Brenner archive, thus substantially redefining both its shape and identity.

In order to only minimally disturb services at the pre-existing university cafeteria and to make optimal use of the available building area, Lackner sort of built a bridge over the cafeteria. Glazed steel frames in brilliant orange stretch over the old building that was also given a brush-up in the process. Receding terraces contain seminar rooms and the library of the school of translators, transforming the old cafeteria building into a "city balcony” next to the river.

© Christof Lackner

Kartonagenfabrik Dinkhauser (packaging materials factory)

Josef-Dinkhauser-Straße 1-2, 6060 Hall in Tirol, A
Architecture: Josef Lackner (2000) Builder-owner: Dinkhauser Kartonagen GmbH Accessibility: Close to the main road from Innsbruck to Hall The administration building (1995 – 1997) and the high-shelve storage area n. 2 (added 2003-2005) were designed by Lukas Schumacher.

For the Dinkhauser packaging materials corporation, Lackner realized one of his last works. The lot sort of had grown with the enterprise, reorganizing it was an essential part of the task. So he added a new high-shelve storage area with unsupported steel frames stretching over 25 m to an existing shop. Large prefabricated concrete elements and triangular glass panels are the dominant elements that masterfully catch the attention of passers-by.

© Christof Lackner