Right at the border between Italy and Austria, in the province of Bolzano in South Tyrol, stands a chalet-style hotel amid green hillsides, just three kilometers from the Klausberg ski area.
It’s been there since 1910, but looks distinctly different now that Pedevilla Architects have authored an extension comprising 20 new rooms, a spa and an expansion of the restaurant.
For the Bruneck-based architecture firm, founded in 2005 by brothers Alexander and Armin Pedevilla, it was a project that aligned with their modus operandi nicely. The challenging slope, along with the need to integrate the new design with the historical pre-existing structure and natural surroundings, are elements that recur in their body of work.
With great sensitivity, they ensured that the new structure does not obscure the views or incidence of sunlight from the older building. Building higher than that former structure, the expansion is spread over six floors, with an ingenious floor plan that enhances sustainability and maximizes its exposure to sunlight: from multiple angles, windows jut from the walls and the roof.
A narrow bridge that connects the two buildings is also designed so as not to impact the views from any room.
The close connection the architects feel is evident from their designs.
The use of blackened timber references the typical chalet-style of the region, and radiates a comforting sense of shelter. Inside, lighter wood and softly hued textiles add warmth: soft red carpets, dark grey curtains made by a local manufacturer and leafy green bedspreads tie the interiors together, as do the copper lamps custom-designed by Harry Thaler. A homecoming, of sorts, for both the architecture practice as well as the seasonal visitor.