Located in a section of Pontives (Val Gardena, Bolzano) where artisan businesses abound, the craft workshop for artistic wooden carving is a building that both defines and forms part of the landscape. The structure draws one's attention to the open space where it rises, but it also manifestly dialogues with the surrounding mountains and vegetation, amid a few scattered buildings, warehouses and roads.
The design uses wood to forge an expressive link between the edifice and artistic craft production. Inside, wood becomes a culturally meaningful material through the art that transforms a raw material, while externally, it is an element that makes the building recognisable and meaningful. The entire design process for the building is centred on making the building identifiable. The workshop has a multi-faceted geometry that forms a weave of different views alluding to a wooden block cut into a rough shape and ready to be carved. This parallel is crystal clear: the multiple faces of the prism-shaped building clearly recall the creation of a wood carving. Similarly, the idea underlying the design shows how the production of this volume and carving share a common thread. A carving is created by cutting away and removing material, while the design brings materials, spaces and shapes into a relationship as part of an organically created architectural structure by a series of actions, including shaping, uniting, adding, selecting, removing and combining.
Many of the triangular and trapezoidal shapes that form the rich geometry of the building, including those on the roof, are clad in larch shingles. The building clearly states what material is central and, in doing so, alludes to the creation of craft works (notably those inside). Yet, it also offers a reflection about time by considering the ageing, in various ways, of the wooden boards as an element of architectural charm since the colour will naturally change over time, making the image of the building ever more vivid. The use of shapes on the facades develops in a non-linear, sparkling manner, combining larch-clad segments with glazing. From the inside, the surrounding landscape acts as a backdrop for both visitors and the artisans at work, bringing life to the work and visit areas. The largest windows are combined with smaller windows that form acute triangles. The use of natural light helps to add an almost dynamically sculpted vision, as the gentle light coming in through the main windows on the sides - with the landscape as a backdrop - contrasts with the shafts of triangular light. The effect is lively, almost dramatic on the inside.
The building is both about creating and exhibiting. On the ground floor, display areas provide an opportunity to see carved wood in its final form. Wood is also the dominant element indoors, used for the floors and as cladding on many of the walls. The use of materials plays a role in defining the architecture - advanced windows, steel uprights and beams, aluminium sheets and heat insulation systems - and, in doing so, through a dialogue, seeks to define a progressive concept of modernity.
Location: Lajen, Bolzano
Client: Ulrich Perathoner
Gross Floor Area: 2763 m²
Cost of Construction: 2.600.000 Euros
Architects: bergmeisterwolf architekten – Gerd Bergmeister, Michaela Wolf
Framing Timber, Façade Shingles: Lignosystem Mario Sacco
Concrete Floors: Mair Gert
Timber Flooring: Pichler
Windows: Fischnaller Friedrich & Co.
Interior lighting: Lichtfabrik-Halotec
Outdoor Lighting: Ewo Interior
Furnishings: Karl Vinatzer
Furnishings: Barth Innenausbau
Photography: 1/9-17/21 © Günther Richard Wett,10/16-22/24 © Ulrich Egger
bergmeisterwolf architekten Gerd Bergmeister (born 1969 in Bressanone, Italy) studied at the IUAV in Venice and Leopold Franzens University in Innsbruck. Michaela Wolf (born 1979 in Merano, Italy) studied at Leopold Franzens University in Innsbruck, at the Architectural Association in London, and at the Politecnico di Milano.
In 2010 the two set up bergmeisterwolf architects in Bressanone.
They have recently won numerous awards:
· Premio Architettura Città di Oderzo 2012 – special mention: progetto Maso b
· Red Dot Product Design 2012 – special mention: progetto Maso b
· Premio di Architettura in Alto Adige 2011 – 2nd prize: Hotel Pupp
· Dedalo Minosse 2010 – special mention: Magrè fire station
· Contractworld 2010 – special mention: Barth Interni
The practice’s designs have been featured at several exhibitions and, in 2012, it was invited to showcase its Cantina Colterenzio project in the Italian Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.