Rock museums, stone buildings and pioneering buildings. Alpine architecture greats such as Zaha Hadid, Werner Tscholl and the Pedevilla Architects. Bold, futuristic wineries, spectacular wooden houses and projects by aspiring young masters of local architecture: South Tyrol has a lot to offer for architecture fans. And our author Jan Dimog wanted to discover this with his HYMER Grand Canyon S.
For many campers from Germany, South Tyrol is the ideal area to make a stop over before continuing to the Italian beaches, the popular metropolises such as Milan and Florence or Tuscany. A long stay in the region between the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites and the Vinschgau with the cities of Bozen, Meran and Brixen is definitely worth it! This is also the opinion of blog operator and architecture professional Jan Dimog, who takes us to the most exciting buildings in the province in his HYMER Grand Canyon S.
For this he drives through wine landscapes, visits Mediterranean-Alpine towns and masters serpentines with numerous curves and hairpin bends. His Grand Canyon S turns out to be the ideal vehicle for this project. Because even though it is a fully equipped motorhome, it is flexible and agile enough for all the challenges of any road trip.
Apart from the geranium-shaped mountain and valley romance, Jan is particularly struck by the will to reinterpret traditional architecture. A lot relates to the grandiose summit landscape. Nature not only plays an important role in planning, but many architects also stay in South Tyrol when it comes to choosing materials. For example, by using native woods. Pioneers like Werner Tscholl, born in 1955, create important landmarks - be it for wineries in the South Tyrolean Wine Route or on the famous Timmelsjoch.
Other regional representatives are the highly regarded Peter Pichler from Bozen, the brothers Pedevilla and noa *, who have had an office in Berlin in addition to their headquarters in Bozen since 2018. The fact that the region now also has a Zaha Hadid building is a preliminary and not only proverbial high point in a transformation of contemporary South Tyrolean architecture that has now lasted around two decades.
At the same time, it is important for local builders to preserve the old building structure and revitalise it. Towards a contemporary use and new impulses to translate traditional into a contemporary design language..
At the latest with the Messner Mountain Museum Corones by the Iraqi-British world architect Zaha Hadid, the region is clearly located on the architectural map.
In the Wanderhotel Bühelwirt and especially in its extension there is exactly this phenomenon to discover in its purest form. The simple but spectacular building is modern and yet clearly anchored in tradition.
For the extension, the owners worked with the brothers Alexander and Armin Pedevilla, who founded Pedevilla Architects in Bruneck in 2005. The design of the two relies on a compact volume that is connected to the existing building and positioned in the north of the property.
And they are not the only ones who have discovered South Tyrol as a way of playing: The generation change of recent years has caused a real building boom.
New operators take over old inns and traditional wineries. They expand their presentation areas and give young architects a chance with their unusual designs.
For locals and traditionalists with a soft spot for open balconies with a cowbell soundtrack, some things are too modern, too geometric and too smooth. Nevertheless, it can happen that the geometry buildings and cubes become new landmarks.
For example, the expansion of the Tramin winery by Werner Tscholl or the hotel of the Schgaguler family, who completely and radically transformed their 80s building in Castelrotto.
They commissioned Peter Pichler from Bozen to do the renovation. He is one of the new, central figures in the current architecture of South Tyrol and has won over the owners with his design of a pure Zen house.
But not only Castelrotto, which is known for its “sparrows” in particular, is full of architectural gems: from Taufers Castle to the Messner Mountain Museum to the seaside resort in Kaltern, South Tyrol is teeming with postcard picture views.
And that's why this sentence, which mountaineers once shouted in greeting, is Jan's most important tip for anyone who also wants to discover the local architecture after this report. Because one thing is certain: there are more than enough sights worth seeing.