- Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architekten
- Bregenz, Austria
This complex project updated and expanded the renowned Festspielhaus on Lake Constance, transforming it into a multi-use cultural, social and business center of international repute. Extensive pre-design and prefabrication were required before surgical implementation over a decade without interrupting performances or institutional operations.
Two bar buildings strengthen and augment internal connections. The first slides between the main auditorium and an expanded lakeside amphitheater with floating stage (the world’s largest open-air theater). The bar cantilevers out from the main facade with a glazed multipurpose room before angling back as a long foyer to stunning lake and mountain views. The second bar, a stilted box girder construction, hovers above the complex to leave the lower level open for essential cross-connections. Nearly 200 feet long, this administration bar is naturally conditioned by deep lake cooling.
Among the new studios and workshops is the region’s largest unprogrammed performance space. The main auditorium was fully renovated with new seating, acoustics-enhancing acacia wood walls and advanced technology, including guides for the hearing and sight impaired. The project is barrier free.
The revitalized complex engages its varied contexts with different expressions on all sides, notably the main facade where a public water plaza with a great bronze by Gottfried Bechtold previews the lake. Bregenz Festspielhaus has been voted the best event center for its size in Austria, the most sustainable, the best in Europe, and among the three best in the world.