Snow Report Webcams Avalanche report
Architektouren: Dorfzentrum Andelsbuch, Foto: Albrecht Immanuel Schnabel
Land of Building Culture

Architecture Trails

Vorarlberg, Austria´s westernmost province, has garnered international reputation for its wealth of high-quality architecture. Modern building materials, openness, the skillful use of indigenous timber and, above all, as sure instinct of architects and builder-owners for the surroundings have added new qualities to the image of Vorarlberg.

For decades, Vorarlberg has been a trailblazer when it comes to architecture and crafts. Eleven differently-themed architectours take visitors with an interest in architecture and design to hand-picked contemporary and traditional buildings.

Vorarlberg´s contemporary architecture has its roots in the 1960s, when a group of fledgling architects who wanted to break new ground formed. Calling themselves the “Vorarlberg Design Artists”, they cultivated an absolutely novel style, both in terms of architecture and the way they cooperated with building authorities and builder owners. Their idea of architecture revolved around notions such as clear lines, minimalist forms, a sparing use of natural resources, blending in harmoniously with the surroundings, and – above all – affordability. This new thinking soon caught on and attracted international attentiion.

Today, virtually all municipal buildings and many private homes as well as reconstructions and adaptations of traditional buildings in Vorarlberg are architect-designed. Indigenous timber has been the building material of choice since time immemorial. Energy-efficient design is common standard. In this respect as well, Vorarlberg´s architects are genuine pioneers.

Architecture Trails
Compiled by the Vorarlberger Architektur Institut and the Vorarlberg Tourist Board 10 full-day and half-day tours shed light on the regional architecture. They inspire visitors to devote themselves to one theme. The themes on offer include Village Spaces, Art & Culture, Timber & Material, Old & New, Crafts & Innovation and Nature & Landscape.  The non-guided tours take visitors to urban and rural regions, allow for plenty of time to take a walk, visit a museum or other public buildings and for culinary breaks.

The makers of the international exhibition “Getting Things Done: Evolution of the Built Environment in Vorarlberg” have designed a one-day tour in order to illustrate architectural variety in Vorarlberg by select examples. The objects they have chosen testify to the timeless quality of an architectural style which is characterised by a functional mix, spatial versatility, formal radicalism, ecological far-sightedness and social integration.

    • Hauptschule Klaus

      Timber & Material – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      Timber construction and architecture in Vorarlberg are inseparably linked. Carefully designed constructions, interior wood…

      • 78,5 km

      • 04:30 h

      • leicht

      Timber & Material – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Timber & Material – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Timber & Material – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 78,5 km
      Ascent: 1419 m
      Descent: 1425 m
      Duration: 04:30 h
      Deepest point: 434 m
      Highest point: 989 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Timber & Material – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      Timber construction and architecture in Vorarlberg are inseparably linked. Carefully designed constructions, interior wood panelling,…

      Start of tour

      Klaus

      End of tour

      Feldkirch

      Description

      The development of contemporary architecture in Vorarlberg has spurred a lasting revival of craftsmanship, particularly of timber construction. Ambitious and technically skilled designers and innovative craftspeople have increased the amount of detail and reinforced the quality of materials used. In several phases, an aesthetics featuring clear structures, simple forms, and unprocessed material surfaces has emerged. As if naturally, it combines old and new, and ties in seamlessly with the historic…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Life Cycle Tower

      Timber & Material – Route 1 (1 day)

      Timber construction and architecture in Vorarlberg are inseparably linked. Carefully designed constructions, interior wood…

      • 49,9 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Timber & Material – Route 1 (1 day)
      Timber & Material – Route 1 (1 day)
      Timber & Material – Route 1 (1 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 49,9 km
      Ascent: 2265 m
      Descent: 2265 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 419 m
      Highest point: 1148 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Timber & Material – Route 1 (1 day)

      Timber construction and architecture in Vorarlberg are inseparably linked. Carefully designed constructions, interior wood panelling,…

      Start of tour

      Dornbirn

      End of tour

      Doren

      Description

      The development of contemporary architecture in Vorarlberg has spurred a lasting revival of craftsmanship, particularly of timber construction. Ambitious and technically skilled designers and innovative craftspeople have increased the amount of detail and reinforced the quality of materials used. In several phases, an aesthetics featuring clear structures, simple forms, and unprocessed material surfaces has emerged. As if naturally, it combines old and new, and ties in seamlessly with the historic…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Gemeindehaus Sulzberg

      Craftsmanship & Innovation (1-day)

      In Vorarlberg’s building culture, the quality of craftsmanship is a hallmark of the quality…

      • 91,7 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Craftsmanship & Innovation (1-day)
      Craftsmanship & Innovation (1-day)
      Craftsmanship & Innovation (1-day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 91,7 km
      Ascent: 2785 m
      Descent: 2785 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 399 m
      Highest point: 1148 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Craftsmanship & Innovation (1-day)

      In Vorarlberg’s building culture, the quality of craftsmanship is a hallmark of the quality of…

      Start of tour

      Bregenz

      End of tour

      Hard

      Description

      Craftsmanship is one of the pillars of Vorarlberg building culture. In a decade-long process of cooperation and mutual understanding, quality right down to the finest details and design that is focused on craftsmanship have become a key factor of success. The thoughtful selection of constructive and decorative materials has even become the basis for an architectural language and aesthetics in its own right. Clear lines and a radical reduction of…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Kunsthaus Bregenz

      Art & Culture – Route 1 (1 day)

      The Vorarlberg Rhine valley is evolving into an interconnected area of settlement featuring a…

      • 44,8 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Art & Culture – Route 1 (1 day)
      Art & Culture – Route 1 (1 day)
      Art & Culture – Route 1 (1 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 44,8 km
      Ascent: 348 m
      Descent: 311 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 397 m
      Highest point: 549 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Art & Culture – Route 1 (1 day)

      The Vorarlberg Rhine valley is evolving into an interconnected area of settlement featuring a special…

      Start of tour

      Bregenz

      End of tour

      Feldkirch

      Description

      Vorarlberg’s cultural buildings give testimony to the historic depth of this region which has been made visible time and again by spirited people who have fought for their beliefs even in the face of social controversy. The colourful history of its settlement and constant migration have resulted in a wealth of cultural relics, ranging from Roman excavations to a rich rural and artisanal heritage, a still visible history of sustainable…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Frauenmuseum Hittisau

      Art & Culture – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      The Vorarlberg Rhine valley is evolving into an interconnected area of settlement featuring a…

      • 75,5 km

      • 04:30 h

      • leicht

      Art & Culture – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Art & Culture – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Art & Culture – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 75,5 km
      Ascent: 1960 m
      Descent: 1932 m
      Duration: 04:30 h
      Deepest point: 397 m
      Highest point: 1148 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Art & Culture – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      The Vorarlberg Rhine valley is evolving into an interconnected area of settlement featuring a special…

      Start of tour

      Bregenz

      End of tour

      Dornbirn

      Description

      Vorarlberg’s cultural buildings give testimony to the historic depth of this region which has been made visible time and again by spirited people who have fought for their beliefs even in the face of social controversy. The colourful history of its settlement and constant migration have resulted in a wealth of cultural relics, ranging from Roman excavations to a rich rural and artisanal heritage, a still visible history of sustainable…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Badehaus Hotel am Kaiserstrand, Lochau

      Nature & Landscape (1 day)

      "Building in Context" is the maxim to which Vorarlberg’s architectural schools have been subscribing…

      • 90,0 km

      • 07:30 h

      • Unbekannt

      Distance: 90,0 km
      Ascent: 781 m
      Descent: 491 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 392 m
      Highest point: 681 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Nature & Landscape (1 day)

      "Building in Context" is the maxim to which Vorarlberg’s architectural schools have been subscribing for…

      Start of tour

      Lochau

      End of tour

      Tschagguns/Vandans

      Description

      The built structures stand in dialogue with their natural environment. They take formal inspiration from the topography of the terrain or the bodies of water, from the salient structures of the vegetation or the mountain silhouette, from the situational qualities of water and sun, and from the multi-faceted interplay of light and shadow, or highlight them on mirror surfaces and in window panes.
      Materiality that is reduced to…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Juppenwerkstatt Riefensberg

      Old & New – Route 1 (1 Day)

      The interplay of traditional and contemporary architecture has a special tradition in Vorarlberg. Both…

      • 79,0 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Old & New – Route 1 (1 Day)
      Old & New – Route 1 (1 Day)
      Old & New – Route 1 (1 Day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 79,0 km
      Ascent: 1996 m
      Descent: 1556 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 397 m
      Highest point: 915 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Old & New – Route 1 (1 Day)

      The interplay of traditional and contemporary architecture has a special tradition in Vorarlberg. Both a…

      Start of tour

      Bregenz

      End of tour

      Schoppernau

      Description

      The first generation of Vorarlberg architects already showed an appreciation for anonymous architecture and rural building culture. In the mid-1970s, ambitious planners and master builders fought against fierce resistance to preserve historic structures. This interest in the rural heritage was always oriented on building structures, materiality, and the rich artisanal experience, without aspiring to formal imitations. In this way, a striking dialogue between trad and mod could evolve, which is…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Stadtbad Dornbirn

      Old & New – Route 2 (1 day)

      The interplay of traditional and contemporary architecture has a special tradition in Vorarlberg. Both…

      • 47,9 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Old & New – Route 2 (1 day)
      Old & New – Route 2 (1 day)
      Old & New – Route 2 (1 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 47,9 km
      Ascent: 499 m
      Descent: 399 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 402 m
      Highest point: 615 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Old & New – Route 2 (1 day)

      The interplay of traditional and contemporary architecture has a special tradition in Vorarlberg. Both a…

      Start of tour

      Dornbirn

      End of tour

      Nenzing

      Description

      The first generation of Vorarlberg architects already showed an appreciation for anonymous architecture and rural building culture. In the mid-1970s, ambitious planners and master builders fought against fierce resistance to preserve historic structures. This interest in the rural heritage was always oriented on building structures, materiality, and the rich artisanal experience, without aspiring to formal imitations. In this way, a striking dialogue between trad and mod could evolve, which is…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Zentrumsgestaltung Dorfmitte, Lochau

      Village Spaces – Route 1 (1 day)

      Owing to a longstanding building culture which has developed over many years, Vorarlberg now…

      • 90,0 km

      • 07:30 h

      • leicht

      Village Spaces – Route 1 (1 day)
      Village Spaces – Route 1 (1 day)
      Village Spaces – Route 1 (1 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 90,0 km
      Ascent: 1493 m
      Descent: 1512 m
      Duration: 07:30 h
      Deepest point: 396 m
      Highest point: 1148 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Village Spaces – Route 1 (1 day)

      Owing to a longstanding building culture which has developed over many years, Vorarlberg now prides…

      Start of tour

      Lochau

      End of tour

      Bregenz

      Description

      Modern architecture in rural areas usually boils down to a few isolated buildings. For a long time, this was also the case in Vorarlberg. In the 1990s, a culture of architecture competitions for public buildings developed in Vorarlberg which increasingly integrated squares and village spaces in architectural designs. Moreover, the increasing number of contemporary buildings prompted a remarkable phenomenon, as village and neighbourhood centres as well as commercial precincts saw…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Gemeindezentrum Ludesch

      Village Spaces – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      Owing to a longstanding building culture which has developed over many years, Vorarlberg now…

      • 61,8 km

      • 04:30 h

      • leicht

      Village Spaces – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Village Spaces – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Village Spaces – Route 2 (1/2 day)
      Difficulty: leicht
      Distance: 61,8 km
      Ascent: 1204 m
      Descent: 791 m
      Duration: 04:30 h
      Deepest point: 408 m
      Highest point: 1015 m
      Experience:

      Landscape:

      Village Spaces – Route 2 (1/2 day)

      Owing to a longstanding building culture which has developed over many years, Vorarlberg now prides…

      Start of tour

      Dornbirn

      End of tour

      St. Gerold

      Description

      Modern architecture in rural areas usually boils down to a few isolated buildings. For a long time, this was also the case in Vorarlberg. In the 1990s, a culture of architecture competitions for public buildings developed in Vorarlberg which increasingly integrated squares and village spaces in architectural designs. Moreover, the increasing number of contemporary buildings prompted a remarkable phenomenon, as village and neighbourhood centres as well as commercial precincts saw…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info
    • Landesberufsschule Bregenz

      Getting Things Done Route: The Makers’ Choice (1 Day)

      The makers of the international exhibition "Getting Things Done: Evolution of the Built Environment…

      • 49,8 km

      • 00:46 h

      • Unbekannt

      Getting Things Done Route: The Makers’ Choice (1 Day)
      Getting Things Done Route: The Makers’ Choice (1 Day)
      Getting Things Done Route: The Makers’ Choice (1 Day)
      Distance: 49,8 km
      Ascent: 184 m
      Descent: 129 m
      Duration: 00:46 h
      Deepest point: 394 m
      Highest point: 485 m

      Getting Things Done Route: The Makers’ Choice (1 Day)

      The makers of the international exhibition "Getting Things Done: Evolution of the Built Environment in…

      Start of tour

      Lustenau, Vetterhof, Alberriedstraße 14

      End of tour

      Götzis, St. Arbogast, Water Pavilion, Montfortstraße-Kalkofen

      Description

      All while being set in a local context, the selected examples illustrate the timeless quality of an architectural style which is characterised by a functional mix, spatial versatility, formal radicalism, ecological far-sightedness and social integration. These buildings have all left a lasting imprint on Vorarlberg’s modern history, and their architectural reach extends far beyond the region. Geographically, we have limited ourselves to the lower Rhine valley, to be able to…

      Best season
      JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
      JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
      All route info