ARCHIPENDIUM von Architekten für Architekten

Seminar and Conference Crystal

Seminar and Conference Crystal

Project Description

Already for many years the therapeutical treatment of physical and emotional disturbances or illnesses by the application of light has been acknowledged medically. Light has different effects on the human body depending on the spectral colour: so a firm red has an exciting effect  while violet light seems calming.

Furthermore science already for some time has been experimentalzing with light as a bearer of information which is further given to the human body: analogous to a radio signal, where spoken information is plotted on a sound wave and sent over long ways, it is assumed that this naturally happens also at light which is nothing else but a high-frequency wave. This information plotted on the light wave comes from each and every object which reflects it,  in which a particularly positive effect could be proved for a light wave which is reflected by crystals.

Interpreting these scientific approaches, the concept for this unusual building, which in form and colour reminds of a Morion, a black rock crystal (SiO2+, also called smoky quartz), arose. Therefore particularly the use of natural sunlight and coloured artificial light was in the centre of the considerations in which the black tinted glass had a decisive role: this is always transparent only on the side illuminated less. This means that at day, when the sun is the main light source,  the crystal is almost completely non-transparent and this effect turns round at night, when the main part of light comes from the coloured illumination on the inside: the complete crystal starts to glow.

The approach to the technical realization of the building was chosen rather simple: like in the case of a greenhouse, the demanding steel-glass structure was put on the supporting structure of reinforced concrete, consisting of floor slabs and stiffening walls, which is half slid into the slope – obviously a solution that, from a thermo-physical point of view, was appropriately realizable only in the actual altitude of more than 1.100 meters above the sea.

This residential conference and seminar house with a gross floor space of 600 m² offers spaces for 30 persons in workshops in an amazing mountain surrounding in the Austrian region of eastern Tyrol, close to the region capital Lienz. In the upper floor is located the main room for seminar and conference with adjoining cloakroom, sanitary and service rooms. The lower floor contains a combined living room and kitchen, two bedrooms with sanitary units and a office space for external lecturers.

The room sequence is characterized by the consequent orientation to natural light and view: all necessary building equipment rooms as well as the obligatory sanitary and store rooms have been planned toward the hillside or into the unexposed area in the middle of the structure, while living and day rooms orientate themselves generally in the direction of the daylight intensive southern side of the building, which at the same time reveals a breath taking view on to the Dolomite mountain chain.

The appurtenant structures have been arranged gardeningly following the crystalline design concept: stone splinters inserted in lawn form the terrace of the lower level while a concrete surface enclosed by planting beds is forming the access area and a parking site for eight vehicles.


Seminar and Conference Crystal

  • Iselberg, Tyrol
  • Austria
Completion: 2009
Used materials
  • Glass
  • Concrete
  • Facade cladding

Type of Building

Architect Office