In its shape and materials the project by MHM Architects for the seminar building Seminarkristall at Iselsberg near Lienz recalls a large dark faceted crystal. Besides the hall for seminars and workshops which will seat up to fifty people, the Seminarkristall includes a kitchen, meditation room, massage room and a number of bedrooms appointed for overnight stays. The fully glazed outer walls form a symbiotic relationship between the building and its surrounding landscape: from inside one enjoys the view of nearby mountains, from outside they are reflected back from the façade. As evening falls, artificial lighting of the interior gives the whole shell a transparent feel; the windows seem to melt away and the interior can be seen, picked out in colour. The bearing structure and glass shell of the Seminarkristall were constructed by Stahlbau Pichler who liaised closely with the architects to create this complex piece of architectural geometry. Mullion and transom façades in T-section drawn steel profiles keep the bulk to a minimum and maximise the see-through effect. The whole metal bearing structure was treated with a synthetic resin-based paint, colour RAL 7024, applied directly on site. Covering a total area of 450m², the façade and roof glazing is made up of 300 different-shaped units achieving the desired irregularity of design. Double-glazing units in high-performing low-emission glass ensure an optimum yield in terms of thermal insulation, while the high solar factor means that energy consumption is contained during the summer months. In building the Seminarkristall Stahlbau Pichler have given another proof of their ability to tackle individualised project needs. It is this close attention to individual parts that brings off all architectural ventures.
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