Architects: Snøhetta Innsbruck
Interiour Design: Snøhetta Innsbruck, Carla Rumler (Cultural Director Swarovski)
Location: Kristallweltenstraße 1, 6112 Wattens (AT)
A detailed print documentation is available in our issue DETAIL inside 1/2019 concerning the topic "Retail and Display".
“We purposefully tried not to interpret the physical properties of crystal in the geometry of the building,” explains Patrick Lüth, Managing Director of Snøhetta Innsbruck and project manager for the new 7,500 m² studio building.
The workshop and showrooms are arranged according to a trapezoidal floor plan and designed – from the inside-out – as a lively place for exchange. Designers from various industries meet here to develop new stones and crystal applications with the company. The factory-sized workshop offers an array of capabilities so that initial ideas can be implemented within a short period of time. Technologies such as laser-cutting or 3D-printing are also used for this purpose, and the crystal glass polished, precision-cut or printed and then bathed in acid.
The generous column-free studio space is spanned by a glass roof with a special sun protection coating, while white steel ceiling panels direct daylight evenly into the hall. The ceiling construction also accommodates the building’s services and ensures comfortable noise levels through integrated acoustic panels.
The architects refrained from designing a prestigious main entrance and relied instead on the skilful dramaturgy and composition of the spaces. A bridge from the neighbouring building leads visitors from the rather dark existing structure into the light-filled new building. From a platform on the upper floor, which was conceived as a wooden structure suspended from the ceiling, visitors can look out over the expansive 14 m-tall workshop. Offices, studios and showrooms are integrated into the sides of the tribune-like structure. The generous timber staircase that leads down to the ground floor also serves as seating and becomes a meeting place that transforms the entire workshop into a kind of arena.