Dark-Coloured: Mittelweiherburg Drinking-Water Pumphouse by firm
Client: Gemeindeverband Wasserwerk Hard-Fussach
Architect: firm Architekten
Location: Mittelweiherburg 3, 6971 Hard (AT)
The drinking-water pumphouse stands in the Austrian town of Hard, directly adjacent to Mittelweiherburg Castle, which is under historical protection. firm Architekten have positioned their duo, which consists of the technical building and a smaller cube which houses the large vertical well, south of the castle. Together, the three structures are spread over a communal open area.
firm Architekten have developed this project around the material concrete. The addition of basalt gives the concrete the dark colouring which gives the two new buildings a uniform appearance. While the well house is only a small cube that remains smooth, the rectangular main building of the Mittelweiherburg pumphouse is around 35 m long. The volume is unpretentious. To the south, it is taller; along its north longitudinal side, it has a lower tier. All the views present themselves in a restrained black. The concrete façades of the upper portion have been finished with a high-pressure water technique that gives them a grainy texture. The base of the building is smooth. Large portals form the only openings in the shell. These are clad with enamelled sheeting panels, done in dark blue. When the light falls a certain way, the panels take on the look of a reflective water surface.
firm Architekten have designed the interior of the Mittelweiherburg pumphouse to be simple and functional. The technical installations that treat, store and distribute the water stand in front of rough concrete walls. A dark floor takes up the dark colour of the façades. Light domes covered with dark-blue metal let subtle, bluish daylight into the technical building.