Strikingly modern design and humble heritage are the trademarks of Tempel 74 Apartments in the heart of the Mellau-Damüls ski region, just 500m to the ski lifts. Centuries-old Alpine craftsmanship marries pioneering architecture: a design concept that is very much at home in Bregenzerwald, a region of Austria famed for its archi-candy buildings and bau culture which dot the Alpine villages. The architecture is standout sharp and the fresh timbered façades are as indigenous as the wraparound Kanisfluh mountain range.
The construction and architectural brainchild of owner Jürgen Haller, a local famed for his trademark design aesthetics. Tempel 74 is actually two buildings, one in the folksy Bregenzerwald style of traditional diamond-shape windows, native spruce shingles and Alpine shutters; the other a bold statement piece of timber design with its groomed structural clean lines.
A clever architectural feature of Tempel 74 is the strking structure which houses the underground ski and parking garage, an outdoor terrace, and the heart of the house, a spacious lounge-parlour connecting the two buildings. Here the typical home elements of a Bregenzerwald 'Stube' are imaginatively reconfigured: the corner seating, sideboards and traditional 'Kanapees' - a framed 2-seater chaise longue. At the centre point is the fireplace, library and a kitchen zone - this is where home is found.
Each glazed viewpoint is a considered element of the architecture with cut-out boxed paned windows framing an epic sight of the village, the meadows or the mountain peaks – it is a visual drama orchestrated by the clever understanding of natural light and its movement across the landscapes of the Bregenzerwald.
The ten apartment interiors follow the sleek narrative of less-is-more with native spruce, silver fir and oak headlining the design and cocooning the spacious layouts. Bespoke cabinetry completes the modernist Alpine look adding design purity.
Reflecting the drama of the encircling spruce and fir-clad peaks across the lush valley, both buildings gather around the village Tempel Fountain creating a modern take on the mountain commune. Once the cattle were watered here and the laundry washed, today the fountain is a meeting point for guests and locals with the church spire and hilltop framing the rural idyll.
Tempel 74 Apartments calls to all ‘connoisseurs of cultivated idleness’ to enjoy the cultural landscapes with independence in a boutique hotel setting. In winter, ski in the Mellau-Damüls region, or in the summery months head off amid spruce forests to seek mystical waterfalls, traverse wild meadows and climb the Alps for lofty highs. Or simply settle into village life – now brought sleekly into the present with Tempel’s modernist rethink.
There are ten apartments each with a fully-equipped kitchen and are either one or two-bedroom in the two buildings; known as House A and House B. Throughout all there is a high level of comfort with simple but luxurious details. Floors are made from brushed oak with underfloor heating, and the scent of wood lingers throughout.
Handmade Vorarlberg furniture and original Bregenzerwald box windows nod to tradition, while designer lighting creates warm pools of light. There are balconies and covered terraces which face the mountain panorama.
Ranging from one to two-bedrooms, the apartments are snug yet stylish, the perfect family holiday refuge from the wilds of the mountains.
Bregenzerwald is the land of plenty. Fresh rustic produce tumbles down from the mountains making use of sunshine, fertile soils, happy free-range animals and centuries-old traditions of making food – a process now known as the slow-food revolution.
A bountyfull Breakfast basket can be delivered right to your apartment door, bursting with everything you need: freshly-baked loaves of bread and warm pastries and homemade tastes of the region. So you can sit awhile in your tranquil surroundings having a thoughtful start to the day. Others may prefer to wander down to nearby cafes for hot coffee, a platter of cheese and ham, and a chat with locals.
Tempel 74 can arrange for a hamper of Bregenzerwald produce to greet your arrival at the apartment. Full of locally grown fruit and vegetables, mountain cheese, creamy milk and fresh juice, this starter pack will introduce you to the joys of alpine nourishment.
For something more refined with less work in the kitchen, head to a traditional inn for culinary discoveries and regional specialities in rustic surroundings.
Whether you come here in summer or winter, the sauna with relaxation area is available for rejuvenation. Cocoon yourself in the detoxifying warmth of the spruce-scented sauna before succumbing to comfort in an oversized padded lounger. The sunbathing area is the perfect spot to soak up some rays and feel imbibed with Vit D.
Hostess Evi Haller with the designer, builder and planner, Jürgen Haller, had a dream. In their words: “we wanted to renew traditions and continue with our own handwriting” sums up the passion they brought to the project. Taking inspiration from Bregenzerwald itself, they focused on high-quality cosiness – attributes they considered essential to Alpine living.
Born and bred in Mellau, Jürgen Haller was already a connoisseur of the village and had a lifetime obsession with its building culture with personal links to many of the area’s finest craftsmen. Working in tandem with ever-welcoming Evi, they have created a place to stay that inhabits both authenticity and personality.
“The Bregenzerwald is so rich and diverse that hardly anyone comes once. The beautiful architecture, the craftsmanship and the cultural produce are too contagious. The activities in the multifaceted nature are too varied, the cultural events are too impressive, the people are too interesting, and the inns are too good.”
Tempel 74’s apartments are located in the traditional, charm-laden village of Mellau, part of Bregenzerwald in Vorarlberg, western Austria.
On its doorstep is an alpine paradise, cradled by the Kanisfluh Range – walk to the lifts to access the largest ski area of Bregenzerwald or set off on foot to explore the gorgeous scenery, fresh mountain air and challenging hikes.
Equally situated from Munich, Innsbruck or Zurich, Tempel 74 is less than 200kms from each, meaning a cultural city stop could bookmark your trip to the mountains.
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