Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hotel Wiesergut in Hinterglemm, Austria by Gogl Architekten
June 18th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Architects: Gogl Architekten
Time seems to stop in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. Just an hour away from Salzburg, traditional houses and hotels with carved dark wooden terraces pepper the rolling landscape of this intimate alpine town. Located directly on the ski slopes and framed by age-old mountains, a white four-story house rises above an ensemble of minimal, modern buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Josef (Sepp) and Martina Kröll have transformed a 14th century family estate into a modern retreat that exudes organic warmth and comfort. Your cares will melt away upon crossing the threshold of their alpine hideaway, as you succumb to the lure of the homey hospitality that forms the core of this sanctuary of light, nature, and fresh air. Local traditions take both new and familiar forms at Wiesergut. The plot of land that the Wiesergut stands upon has been in Sepp’s family since 1350 and has been used for small-scale farming since his greatgrandmother Gertrude opened a guest house on the property two generations ago. The Kröll family tradition of farm to table continues today at the Wiesergut – with a twist.
In the kitchen, chefs combine Austrian classics with experimental cuisine, allseasoned with fresh-herbs grown in an outdoor herb garden grown literally within arm’s reach of the Wiesergut’s state-of-the-art kitchen. This commitment to preserving artisanal craft extends from the locally-sourced foods and fine ingredients that grace the tables of the hotel’s restaurant to the Wiesergut’s seventeen manor suites and seven exclusive garden suites. Here, homespun luxury prevails. Bespoke furnishings by Austrian designers commissioned exclusively for Wiesergut furnish the hotel’s private quarters, from hand-blown glass chandeliers right down to the steel door handles.
Meet The Original
Years ago, Sepp and Martina Kröll dreamt of going back to the land together. Now, from the heights of their exquisite two-story lofted apartment atop the Wiesergut they can survey their creation—and the mountain top Zwölferkogel— from their floor-to-ceiling windows. When you enter the Wiesergut, you are greeted with a smile and warm welcome that is as timeless as the surrounding mountains themselves. The personalized sense of hospitality that Sepp Kröll instills in his team comes from generations of family experience.
Two generations ago Sepp’s great-grandmother transformed her manor into a guest house with an adjoining farm, a tradition his parents continued. His family experience in the business prompted Sepp to pursue formal training in gastronomy and farming, which he parlayed into his acclaimed mountainside restaurant Wieseralm. After meeting and marrying Martina, the two began to formulate their vision for a relaxed, restorative hideaway that emphasized traditional quality and contemporary innovation, while retaining its earthiness and traditional ties. “To me, luxury is a lot of space; it’s fresh bread,” Kröll explains, “It’s knowing that the chickens in the stall laid the eggs you ate for breakfast. Easy, and still beautiful.”
At Wiesergut, nature takes center stage. Monika Gogl of Gogl & Partner architect has lent her knack for materials and unerring eye for detail to the creation of a sanctuary of light, nature, and fresh air. Gogl has given an historic estate a new heart: the Innsbruck-based architect has created a distinctive alpine hideaway distinguished by its modern design and integration with nature.
The hotel’s architecture highlights its integration in the natural landscape. An abundant use of glass prevails throughout the property: the garden suites, which boast floor-to-ceiling windows, connect to the manor building through glass passageways and the natural flow of light contributed to many design decisions.
The Krölls conducted a “sun study” to maximize light throughout the property, which is why the garden suites have higher ceilings and the rooftop is covered in wild herbs. Local integration permeates every aspect of the hotel, from the sourcing of materials to the inspiration for its design aesthetic and its interplay with the surrounding landscape. Beautifully distressed wooden ceilings and floors sourced from local wood contrast with natural stone, granite, glass, and exposed concrete. Large windows feature throughout the hotel’s twenty-four suites, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior space. Indeed, every aspect of the hotel’s design is intended to cultivate this slippage between inside and outside, between old and new. Rich earth tones and warm materials combine with the hotel’s signature hue l‘eau du nil, a watery green-blue color with tones that shifts and shimmer in changing lights to create an elemental contrast.
Bespoke furnishings by Austrian designers commissioned exclusively for Wiesergut add a contemporary twist to classic materials like linen, loden, and weather-beaten leather, all of which factor prominently in the hotel’s overall design concept. Minimal, hand-blown glass chandeliers by the German lamp designer Isabel Hamm and untreated steel fireplaces decorate the suites. Homey details are interwoven throughout the property and Wiesergut’s approach to hospitality is reflected in how they create environments for both personal relaxation and collective conviviality.
Guests can enjoy personally recharging in one of the garden suite’s terrace hot tubs after a spa treatment on the roof or convene with friends over the Wiesergut “Feuerring” designed by the Swiss artist and steel sculptor Andreas Reichlin to enjoy a barbeque in the hotel’s courtyard during the summer months.
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