falkensteiner hotel schladming

Hohensinn Architektur won the invited competition in summer 2010 to design a four star superior hotel, presenting a concept that took both the specific topographic conditions and scale of the heterogeneously built environment into account.
Until recently home to the region’s largest event centre, the Dachstein-Tauern-Halle, the site in question is located in direct vicinity of the newly erected “Congress Schladming” that is situated somewhat higher. Various other differently sized accommodation facilities and single-family houses form the rest of the neighbourhood.
In response to this rather challenging urban developmental situation, three wings, each designed to address the height of the neighbouring buildings, were erected. Due to the Y-shaped ground plan of the wings, no more than two structures are discernible at the same time from the outside, and only one is visible from the guestrooms. Moreover, high-quality external and intermediate spaces that harmonise well with their surroundings emerged as a result. In that context then, embedding the “basement floor” into well-established terrain and with direct relations to the garden complex of the hotel played just as important a role as positioning the entrance area and floor on the same level as “Congress Schladming”. Nevertheless, in order to create an atmosphere that would still correspond to that of a ground floor, besides the driveway, additional terrain was also filled up to level of the entrance floor’s lower edge, thus offering a direct connection to the outside area.
Despite the fact that all three wings are linked to one another by means of a glazed atrium, which also provides vertical access, each one was still treated as an independent structure in order to establish clear formal principles – a statement that was underpinned, for instance, by consequently cladding all outer wall surfaces with a timber façade.
Functionally, the hotel is made up of an entrance floor comprising a lobby / reception area, restaurant and bar, including conference, seminar and administrative areas, and of a wellness and garden floor beneath containing a swimming pool, sauna, treatment and fitness rooms as well as a storage and staff area, and of four floors for guestrooms. The hotel emanates a feeling of airy lightness with its two generously glazed lower floors and circumferentially cantilevered four upper storeys.
While the structural core of the building consists of reinforced concrete dividers and floors, the outside layer with the loggias and the ceiling of the atrium that is visible from the inside are of plywood boarding. All windows, doors, floors and balustrades, as well as the interior views of the loggias and the façade are made of timber. Featuring vertical, glazed spruce cladding, partly fashioned to form lamella-like slats as a protective screen in front of the loggias, there is more to the exterior than meets the eye. This diversified façade not only helps to put the size of the hotel into perspective, establishing a link with its timber cladding to the neighbouring “Congress Schladming” and to the surrounding countryside and region as a whole, but its clear-cut design spells out the kind of ambition that is bound to leave an indelible mark on Schladming’s urban landscape.


adress: 8970 Schladming, Austria
client: HPEG Hotel Planungs- und Errichtungs GmbH Schladming
planning: Hohensinn Architektur
project manager Stefan Ohler
team: Raphael Gruber, Martin Baumann, Anita Huber, Ingomar Findenig,
Thomas Moser, Branko Savatovic, Mario Mayrl, Andreas Huemer, Dieter Saurugg
structural analysis Wendl ZT GmbH
building services TB Pechmann GmbH
construction physics Dr. Pfleiler GmbH
kitchen planning PlanQuadrat Ingenieurbüro
invited competition 2010 / 1.prize
usable floor space 9000m²
numbers of room 130
start of planning 11/2010
start of construction 04/2012
completion 12/2012

photos: paul ott / klaus vyhnalek