Building in the Alps
A Glass Gateway in the Allgäu Alps
The lower station of the Nebelhorn cable car, © Bruno Klomfar
A pellucid shell of wafer-thin glass lies over 39 arches of glulam timber. The lower station of the Nebelhorn cable car by HK Architekten thus becomes an open pergola on the redesigned village square in Oberstdorf.
New plaza with service building and lower station, © Bruno Klomfar
Cable-car stations are usually large volumes completely out of proportion with the small-scale villages where they stand. Generally, ascending visitors do not see any view of the mountains until they have submitted to a long, dark wait in the queue before the gondola finally leaves the building. This is not the case with the new lower station of the Nebelhorn cable car in Oberstdorf.
Hermann Kaufmann has divided the overall spatial program comprising the station, service rooms and administration into three buildings which fit unobtrusively into the surrounding village in terms of both dimension and roofline. They are grouped around a new plaza that works with the wooden arches of the lower station to form an attractive starting point for the ascent into the Alpine world. In other words, it is a gateway to the Allgäu Alps.
The lower station, © Bruno Klomfar
The glazed barrel roof beneath which the gondolas glide upwards resembles an open pergola. The service building features a sports shop as well as a business offering rentals and repairs of equipment for skiing and mountain biking, while the administration building is home to offices and storage areas. With their traditional saddle roofs and wood facades, these secondary structures remain discreetly in the background.
Connection of the lower station to the administration building, © Bruno Klomfar
The architects have found an exemplary solution to control the flow of traffic and arrangement of the many parking spots. The parking lot and two-storey parkade stand along the mountain creek behind the buildings, where they are hardly visible from the village. An underground passageway allows mountaineers to keep their feet dry as they enter the lower level of the service building in order to take their equipment from the lockers.
Read more in Detail 5.2023 an in our databank Detail Inspiration.
Architecture: HK Architekten
Client: Nebelhornbahn-AG Oberstdorf (DE)
Location: Nebelhornstraße 67, Oberstdorf (DE)
Construction management: Manfred Engstler
Structural engineering: Merz Kley Partner
HVAC planning: IBH Wolfgang Hirdina
Building physcis: Hafner Weithas Bauphysik