- Old and new
... in the Rheintal and Walgau valleys.
The interplay of old and new architecture enjoys a special tradition in Vorarlberg. Knowledge and appreciation of regional building culture have fostered cohesion and continuity between tradition and contemporary construction. Successful renovations, conversions and the integration of new structures in existing surroundings all serve as testament to this exemplary relationship.
This appreciation of anonymous construction and a rustic, rural building culture was readily apparent in the first generation of Vorarlberg’s architecture movement. In the mid 1970s, a group of forward thinkers including highly ambitious architects and building owners overcame significant opposition in order to preserve historic structures. Rather than being limited to formal imitation, their interest in this architectural legacy was always focused on the building structure, materiality and knowledge of craftsmanship. This inspired fascinating contrasts between old and new that can still sometimes go unnoticed at first glance. Depending on the situation, the respective approaches range from “continuity construction” to deliberate contrasts between original elements and new additions. Whenever a village structure is to be preserved, for example, a gable roof is the order of the day. But when it comes to integrating new uses and requirements within an existing building, innovative solutions are not hidden away (e.g. Artenne Nenzing cultural centre). There are also stunning projects in which the demands of historically protected buildings are navigated with care and respect (e.g. Freihof Sulz restaurant and event centre).
Author: Robert Fabach, redaktionell bearbeitet
letzte Änderung: 15.09.2021
Difficulty: leicht Technique: Experience: Landscape: Altitude: Best season: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Characteristics:
The tour starts in Dornbirn (Stadtbad Dornbirn indoor pool) before leading to Lustenau (town hall), Hohenems (Jewish Museum Hohenems), Röthis (village centre, kindergarten), Sulz (Freihof Sulz restaurant and event centre), Schlins (Wiesenbachsaal hall, primary school and parsonage) and Nenzing (Artenne Nenzing cultural centre).
More top tips for this route:
Between Hohenems and Altach, you can visit the Jewish and Islamic cemeteries. Located on a tree-covered slope in the very south of Hohenems, the former has served as a cemetery since the 17th century and features a total of 370 gravestones. The Islamic cemetery was designed by the architect Bernardo Bader: opened in 2012, it was honoured with the internationally renowned Aga Khan Award for Architecture the following year.
Freihof Sulz has also returned to its former role as a restaurant. The title of “Freihof” was a special privilege dating back to the 15th century and conferred only on a select few farms and inns. It was first documented in 1796.
A number of hotels, restaurants and inns located on or in close proximity to the route are of special interest in terms of the local building culture. These establishments are ideal for mouth-watering meals and overnight stays during the “Architectours” in Vorarlberg.
Geogr. 47.411736 N 9.74354 E