Markus Tauber Architectura
Neubau des Fernheizwerks Schlanders
best architects 13
The local context is defined here by a linear alignment along the valley floor, the same line followed by the rows of trees in the adjacent orchards. Together with the rocky ground, these two elements form an inseparable natural unity, representing the typical characteristics of the setting. This special “genius loci” is preserved by making these distinctive natural elements – tree, plant, vegetation, soil, gravel – visible in the building. To make the architectural intervention as gentle as possible, the two volumes are not conceived as buildings, but rather as parts of nature, with materials and textures chosen to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The new district heating plant is therefore articulated intellectually as a combination of a stone block for the boiler house plus a wood storage facility in the form of a timber volume that is partially buried in the ground and covered with climbing plants – a duet, so to speak, of a fireplace, framed in stone, and the stored fuel material, set in the midst of nature. The two structures are arranged orthogonally to one another as a marker indicating the transitions in the landscape. Both buildings have been executed in a formal vocabulary fitting their respective tasks, intended as a response to the simplicity of nature and as emphasis on consistency and reduction to the essentials.