The Schmiedhof Alm Restaurant lies in the exclusive Zell am See Ski region of Austria, 1,720 meters above sea level. In the course of a single generation, the new owners of the Schmiedhof Alm have managed to create one of the finest restaurants in the area. In an effort to make the restaurant truly world class, a complete renovation of the old building was required. The Architecture was an integral part of the new, innovative gastronomic concept. Providing an atmosphere that invites the Skiers and diners to linger and enjoy their time. A stark contrast to the mass production facilities commonly found in Ski resorts.
The appearance of the new building combines traditional style with a strong contemporary architectural influence. The concept is based around the careful addition of volumes in a range of forms: a classically styled timber ski hut with a pitched roof was placed on top of the existing basement. The additional monolithic concrete element, binds the building to the surrounding mountains.
The perforation or openings of the building followed two basic principles: The windows of the concrete basement level and the monolith were pressed inwards to intensify the immense sense of mass of these elements. In contrast, the panoramic windows of the timber construction are pushed outwards, as if parts of the inside are trying to peer out. The resulting booths offer a unique view of the ‘Grossglockner’ mountain.
The food and drink service takes place in the elongated timber structure as well as in the outdoor terraced area, each supporting up to 200 skiers at once. With the innovative service of the introduced Ski-Drive-In quality dining is also made available for price conscious customers. For customers, the column-free guest area provides and open feel, with easy access to all areas. Window seats and careful partitions enhance the homely feeling, encouraging guests to take their time and enjoy the views. The use of exposed timber beams, interspersed with a sound absorbing lattice, further adds to this feeling despite the restaurant being able to accommodate many guests at once.
The structure of the ski hut consists of visual standard KLH solid wood panels on the interior and the internally insulted exposed concrete walls of the monolith, which houses the canteen. The roof structure of the guest area is highly insulated and finished in wood. Visible rafters, in addition to enhancing the form of the open area, provide the structural load bearing. The construction is completed with open wooden slats providing an acoustic ceiling. The massive wood exterior walls are also highly insulated and clad externally with a vertical wood facade.
All construction had to take place within a couple of months in summer due to the very limited construction period permitted in the Alpine region. Consequently, all concrete elements had to be constructed quickly and efficiently onsite and the timber construction prefabricated offsite to ensure completion of the project on time.
The large, highly insulated windows are a complex solution that creates both spatially effective elements, and additional seating niches. High quality KLH panels were mounted on brackets before being covered with felt to provide the seating.
Overall the guests can enjoy a complete package of stylish architecture with a homely atmosphere, culinary delicacies with excellent service and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.
On the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See, the existing Schmiedhof Alm was dismantled and rebuilt as an Alpine restaurant with seating for 200 guests. The design concept is based on the addition of volumes in various forms: The traditional ski hut with a pitched roof in timber acts as a guest room and the inserted concrete cube with a flat roof houses the canteen. Multiple bay windows thrust out from the façade, providing seating niches with spectacular views of the mountains.
Building: Alpine Restaurant Schmiedhof Alm
A-5700 Zell am See, Austria
Planning and Site supervision: ARSP ZT GmbH Architekten Rüf Stasi Partner, Albert Rüf and Frank Stasi
Project Leader: Dipl.-Ing. Arch. Rike Kress
Project Team: Andreas Dirnberger, Bernhard Wachter, Gonzalo Cieza, Caroline Volz, Franziska Abler
Construction: Massive monolith reinforced concrete with interior insulation, ski hut exterior walls in solid wood with external insulation and wood panelling; tin rafter roof. Numerous picture windows thrusting out of the main volume offer distinctive panoramic view to the Großglockner.
Basement: innkeepers, rooms for staff and guests, washrooms
Ground Floor: dining area, restaurant kitchen, Ski-Drive-In, Terrace
About ARSP – Architekten Rüf Stasi Partner
Architekten Rüf Stasi Partner is an internationally operating architecture firm with studios in Dornbirn (Vorarlberg, Austria) and in Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg, Germany).
Their goal is the development of progressive architecture as well as sustainable urban design. Always tailored to the desired use and context, ARSP creates buildings for living, working, studying, industry, tourism and research by optimizing the manufacturing processes and craftsmanship during our design and planning.
ARSP generates urban concepts and development strategies with lasting impressions.
Their architecture polarises.
Please contact Andreas Dirnberger for more press material.