Nordwesthaus by Baumschlager Eberle



Architects Baumschlager Eberle have designed a combined clubhouse and boathouse at Port Rohner on Lake Constance in Fussach, Austria.


The cube-shaped building consists of an irregular concrete structure enveloped in glass.


"The irregular structure of the concrete elements is set off against the regular rectangular shapes of the sheets of glass," say the architects.  "The randomness of the glass decoration avoids too sharp a contrast between the core and the envelope."


Photographs © Eduard Hueber

The following information is from Baumschlager Eberle:


The construction of the port in Fußach is an undertaking that disdains any picturesque posturing. The clear geometrical structures contrast starkly with the natural environment. Since the year 2000 the port building has »hovered« over its surroundings, giving the owner, Maria Rohner, the overall view she needs.


In response to the concrete tube devised for the head of the marina, Baumschlager Eberle have installed a cube as the new meeting point for the sailing community. Positioned right on the edge of the moorings, the building presents a striking interaction between the supporting concrete elements and the envelope of glazed panels that allow the contours of the building to shine through. The irregular structure of the concrete elements is set off against the regular rectangular shapes of the sheets of glass. The randomness of the glass decoration avoids too sharp a contrast between the core and the envelope, however.


The purpose of these overlays is to allow light and shade to move around the inside. During the day the interior is transformed into a kaleidoscope of the surroundings, while the reflections of the surrounding water lend »movement« to the outsides. At night-time the ceiling lighting, reinforced by the illumination in the support structure, provides an x-ray picture of the internal organisation of the building.


The boat box is at the water level. It is followed by a connecting floor with stairs which provide access from the land side to the club room above. Situated 8.8 metres above ground, this room plays the main role in the new event building. Its users enjoy the light-dependent spectrum consisting of the biomorphic forms of the concrete and the crystalline structures of the glass. The microscopically fine finishing gives the envelope of the building the texture which effects the transition to the construction, but it in no way conforms to the expectations of conventional ornamentation. Compactness and transparency, light and movement – the architecture profits from the features of the port, providing them with a culminating point in the event building.





Posted on Sunday December 7th 2008 at 4:23 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Wow.. looks really amazing.

  • rik

    rather small isn’t it?

  • windbag

    Great but would have been better if the frame was polished steel instead of black.

  • rodger

    we all need novelty and this is a nicely built building, but i think these guys have outdone themselves with this piece of ridiculousness. what a completely irrelevant language of form. how these stupid ideas get built is beyond me.

  • Rockstar


  • yrag

    It’s not a dog, and it’s no cat
    By both parts neither a shoe nor a hat
    A bit more round and considerably flat
    Clearly, it sits somewhat vaguely between a this and that. —G. Walmsley

  • Jacob

    Theatrical, simple, beautiful. Very creative and unique.

  • very impressive! great design, congratulations!

  • silicon m

    Brilliant, These architects no only think outside the ……
    but also embrace the art, sculpture and philosophy of life and architecture.

    we can only thank them for inspiring us all

    silicon m

  • dj

    Wow.. looks really amazing.

  • miss plastic

    hmm…I mean it is not ugly, but to be beautiful, there are less costly ways to
    archive that facade, than putting a glass box around a complicated structure,right?

  • Matt

    Interesting, seems a shame that it had to be constrained by a cube. Makes me want to ‘scream’

  • Martin

    oooh.. a nice tension between static and dynamic, transparent and solid structures..

  • up

    The house or building like a scene from the film what it is the marine laboratory.

  • malte

    looks sooooo cosy, i would love to hang out there with my club mates, relax, drink a beer an enjoy the pitoresque view.
    i really dont get, why architects like these dont get broke….
    one of them is a teacher at the eth zürich.

  • Ben

    to windbag:
    I think if you look at the second picture those black lines make the building somewhat sketchy … love the way that looks

  • Matt

    who is this other Matt asking for this getting out of the cube?
    since when is it a constrain to draw something inside a cube?

    nice lighting effect from a far distance but i’ve almost never seen some lines as un-dynamic as those

  • MC

    An inhabitable sculpture. Great design and creative intention…

  • qinlin

    very good

  • w

    I love it

  • dan

    ..some old dudes discovering the curve. i’m sure they really enjoyed themselves.

  • bence

    amazing detailing work,…and a really appreciatable outcome in terms of the desired effect,…though conceptually i would argue theat nor the concrete pattern or the glashave some logic embedded,…a structural for example which would differentiate it at top bottom,..or a programatic one…resulting in density,…none and in this way i cant help …i only see the mask of …scream!!

  • bence

    edvard munch…..

  • John

    Very beautiful! The only critique I have is that it would be nice to carry the irregular concrete througout the ceiling as well. It looks like a glass ceiling (at least at the perimeter).

    Nice Job!

  • El Greco

    A little post-modern… boathouse = waves, but I think it’s good overall.

    I agree with the previous reply, lose the black frames. They detract.

  • jed_

    the black frame is absolutely the best thing about it!

  • windbag

    Pink Floyd, The Wall, anyone?

    @El Greco:
    yes, maybe the better solution was no frame at all.

  • design is a jewel….very clear n impressive built form!!

  • Richie

    It’s interesting.. the layers of the exterior seem to allow it to subtly change appearance numerous times throughout the day depending on light etc.. The amount of functional space looks very small though from the photographs, it looks like you’d struggle to get 10 people in there comfortably.

  • Lazar

    I think ,for that location , the object is too introverted.

  • LOW

    cute really

  • gaque

    the second image is atrocious…looks like an igloo (although igloos are anything but atrocious). the black glass frame is terribly unsucessful…sorry! the concrete work and detailings are great, but the language doesnt carry at all well into the entrance foyer or the ceiling.

  • the first picture looks really great

  • maybe I missed it, is that in Germany?

  • Yes it is, it is mentioned in the article

  • Really really beautiful place : ) Looks so sweet.

  • Jörg

    It’s not in Germany. It’s in Austria.

  • Really? I cant believe that.

  • Ryan

    The best part of this building is that they call it a “boathouse” so they were allowed to build on the water. There is a tiny room on the water side of the building that houses a row boat… Extremely clever.

    Spent a morning in the building and Maria’s office. She’s a great owner and her office is very impressive as well. The architects gave us a tour of both and a few other projects. Their new firm office building is quite outstanding as well.