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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.