Tree Hugger

The project is the most recent episode of a series of architectural homicides that the site has endured since the 1800’s. The site lies at the intersection of the roads leading into the small town of Bressanone in front of the important historical landmark of the Bishop’s Palace and historically holds a central role in welcoming guests to the town. Indeed historical documentation reveals a lineage of eccentric and remarkable pavilions at the service of visitors that have met their unfortunate demise through their demolition, making way for the next victim.

In the 1930’s, a pavilion in the form of a loggia referencing the Habsburg eagle’s nest was replaced by the modernist lines of the new “Autonomous Company of Care and Living,” which was in turn supplanted in the 1970’s by the tourist pavilion of the beloved local architect Othmar Barth.

As the winning project for the 2016 competition for the Tourist Information Office, the project takes on the qualities of airiness and levity that characterize these pavilions passed to bring continuity to the lineage of these structures dedicated to the welcoming of visitors.

Raising her body up on tiptoes, the project frees up the ground level to give it over to the city as a public space. This newly found public space not only became a catalyst for the local administration to transform the entry into town into a pedestrian zone, but has also visually engaged the Bishops Palace with the city’s edge to create a more memorable façade to the city.

New visual connections are made, not only to the main building of the Bishop’s Palace, but also in relationship to the ancillary Chinese and Japanese pavilions that mark the corners of the Bishop’s Palace gardens. The exotic, sinuous curves of the corner pavilions are reinterpreted in the project, transforming the Tourist Information Office into a new marker for Bressanone.

Awards

Best Architects 2019