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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Wolke 7 in Grafenegg, Austria by tnE Architects

June 4th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: tnE Architects

The “Wolke 7” catering pavilion in Grafenegg Castle Garden (Lower Austria) by the next ENTERprise Architects has been awarded the AIT Award in the category gastronomy.

A decade ago tnE Architects created the Wolkenturm open air stage, one of Austria’s most impressive concert stages and the central performance venue of the annual Grafenegg Festival. In 2015 the architects were commissioned by Grafenegg Kulturbetriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. to redesign the location which is used for catering to events and situated on the path between the Castle Tavern and the Wolkenturm. The AIT Award is the second major honour received by the project after last year’s award of the Client Prize of the Central Association of Austrian Architects.

“Wolke 7”, a place for culinary highlights and coming together in an open-air atmosphere, adds a new dimension to the synergy between the traditional and the contemporary in Grafenegg which reaches far beyond the catering infrastructure.

Image Courtesy © Klaus Vyhnalek

  • Architects: tnE Architects
  • Project: Wolke 7
  • Location: Palace Park Grafenegg, Grafenegg, AT
  • Photography: Lukas Schaller, Klaus Vyhnalek
  • Client: Grafenegg Kultur Betriebsges.m.b.H. 
  • HVAC Planning: Ing. Klaus Tiefenbacher, AT 
  • Structural Planning: Ingenieurteam GmbH Bergmeister, IT 
  • Landscape Planning: Land in Sicht, AT 
  • Acoustics: Müller-BBM GmbH, GER
  • Completed: 2015 

Image Courtesy © Lukas Schaller

Symbiosis Between Art And Nature

With a roof that is supported by delicate steel columns and nestles between the trees like a leaf, “Wolke 7” slips e€ ortlessly into the historic parkland of Grafenegg’s castle grounds. The  oor of the pavilion is created by the widening of the footpath to form a public space; the interaction between the hard ceiling and the soft ground awakens the feeling that one is entering a room.

The roof of “Wolke 7” is de‚ ned by its in-situ concrete surface, which gently rises and falls twice as it translates its natural curvature into a structural principle. Derived from the position of the existing trees this sweeping form of the roof has an additional spatial quality and enables the catering pavilion to open in every direction while drawing attention to the bar as a place where one can linger, protected from the elements.

Image Courtesy © Lukas Schaller

Image Courtesy © Lukas Schaller

This double curvature of the in-situ concrete surface was digitally generated via a simulation using silk stretched between supports. The resulting deformation raises the natural shape of the curve to a structural principle. The reduction of the bending stress coupled with the activation of the tension in the membrane creates an economic concrete solution and makes it possible to execute a roof structure of optimal sti€ ness which requires no waterproo‚ ng.

With a length of over 20 metres the counter of the pavilion consists of prefabricated concrete elements with integrated stainless steel cooling drawers and is used both for serving food and drink and as a stand-up bar for visitors to the park. It is complemented by the storage box with serving niches and the plain, sheet aluminium glasses cabinet – a spatial ensemble that is oriented in every direction, free of any sense of front or back.

Image Courtesy © Lukas Schaller

Image Courtesy © tnE Architects

However, as well as inviting concertgoers to take some refreshment during intervals, the pavilion is also a contemporary architectural object which has become a € xed component of both the Grafenegg Castle Garden and its symbiosis between art and nature. The resulting interplay between clumps of trees, open areas of grass and the design of the roof invites visitors to enjoy unfamiliar glimpses of the surrounding park and the Wolkenturm.

Jury -Statement on the AIT Award:

“The open-air pavilion “Wolke 7” in the grounds of Grafenegg Castle blends sensitively into the historic park landscape thanks to its  oating roof, which sits like a leaf between the trees. The three-dimensional, in-situ concrete slab forms its own atmospheric space with an agreeable lightness and marks the special use of the public space. The jury was particularly impressed by the poetic and clear conception of the building, the reduced construction and range of materials and the re€ nement and high quality of the execution”.

Image Courtesy © tnE Architects

Image Courtesy © tnE Architects

Image Courtesy © tnE Architects

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Category: Pavilion

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