Located directly adjacent to the Rainberg, the oldest historic area of settlement in Salzburg, this project is a five minute walk from Salzburg’s Festival district. Formerly a quarry for the Salzburg Palace and city churches, the rocky site subsequently became the Stern Brewery, which ceased operation some 50 years ago. It is from the rocky cliffs facing the site to the south, where this project gets its conceptual inspiration, and which provides a striking backdrop to the new structures. This project provided us the opportunity to not only build a unique complex, but to truly create a landmark within Salzburg’s essentially 18th Century cityscape – a highly contextual, yet distinctive beacon of the 21st Century, in a place that time has largely passed by.
Inspired by the defining natural elements of the City of Salzburg, this proposal takes form. The master plan of this development abstractly imitates the city and becomes the Microcosm of the city of Salzburg itself, with the defining mountains and Salzach River flowing through.
To create a dialogue and a personal, meditative experience we have cut a narrow creek at the edge of the rock wall, which guides and invites the public through the site. Just like the Salzach River, it creates a new boundary, provides movement and extends the nature into the site. The old path is incorporated in this sequence where the water travels from the highest elevation on the site through a small waterfall and becomes the collector of melting snow water, icicles, and rocks. This pedestrian path is carefully designed to allow the public to enjoy the natural beauty of the forest and the rock face without disturbing the privacy of the residents. This water canal also provides a place for exhibition of outdoor water sculptures.
Architecturally this project simulates the rock formation, deposits and random composition of a quarry site where pieces of rocks are chiseled from the mountain and then cut to smaller pieces stacked up in a random fashion. Each block then becomes a container, a wrapping enclosure of smaller blocks or apartments within, allowing each living unit to be unique with magnificent views. With this approach the mountain becomes a “generator” rather than a “backdrop” The buildings here are set back from the rock-face, and they hover over their bases just enough to create a tension from where one could almost reach out and touch the rock.
The project’s six new and two historic structures are comprised of one hundred luxury urban condominiums, premium penthouses, artist’s studios, an exhibition space, garden spaces and a public waterside promenade on a five acre site at the foot of the Rainberg Mountain. Additionally, Underground parking is available to all residents and additional spaces are provided for city use in times of music festivals.