Nordwesthaus by Baumschlager Eberle

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Nordwesthaus by Baumschlager Eberle

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

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

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"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."

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Photographs © Eduard Hueber

The following information is from Baumschlager Eberle:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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