MoDus Architects – Sandy Attia, Matteo Scagnol
Tourist Information Office
best architects 19
Bressanone / Italy
The project is but the most recent episode of a series of architectural homicides that the site adjacent to the Bishop’s Palace of Bressanone has endured since the 1800s. A collection of eccentric and rather remarkable pavilions have met their demise to make way for the next victim: a loggia of the Habsburg eagle’s nest was eliminated in the 1930s by the refined modernist line of the new «Autonomous Company of Care and Living», which was in turn supplanted in the 1970s by the tourist pavilion designed by the beloved local architect Othmar Barth. Airiness and levity are qualities that these buildings have in common, keeping alive the memory of what once was.
As the winning project entry for the 2016 competition for the Tourist Information Office, the project – in dialogue with the lightness of her predecessors – raises her body up on tiptoes and frees up the ground level to give it over to the city as a public space. New visual connections are made, not only to the main pavilion of the Bishop’s Palace but also in relationship to the ancillary Chinese and Japanese pavilions that mark the corners of the palace garden. The exotic, sinuous curves of the Asian pavilions are reinterpreted in the project, transforming the Tourist Info Office into a new belvedere for Bressanone. The existing monumental trees govern the design; the building twists and turns around the central tree as though a vase from which nature and the edifice both come to life in a new form.