Top of Alpbachtal: Snøhetta’s Alpine Refuge Masterpiece
Introducing Top of Alpbachtal, a stunning alpine refuge designed by Snøhetta, nestled in the picturesque Tyrolean Alps of Alpbach, Austria.
This modern architectural gem, completed in 2022, offers visitors a unique mountain experience, incorporating traditional alpine building elements with contemporary design features. Come explore the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views from the 13-meter-high (42.7 feet) timber tower, and discover the warmth of the contemporary Tyrolean parlor.
About Top of Alpbachtal
A Landmark for the Resort’s Tenth Anniversary
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau ski resort, the ski area invested in a new chairlift, the Hornbahn 2000, and invited Snøhetta to design a viewing tower atop the service room of the cable car. This 13-meter-high timber tower, named “Top of Alpbachtal,” enhances the mountain experience for visitors and pays homage to alpine building traditions in the Tyrolean Alps.
Inspiration from Traditional Design
The Top of Alpbachtal’s narrowing timber structure features handmade shingles from a local maker. A panorama room welcomes skiers, snowshoe walkers, ski tourers, and hikers, while visitors pass the lift control room to reach a public lounge. The design of this panoramic room, located on the first floor, draws inspiration from traditional Tyrolean farmhouse parlors. The lower part of the two-story room features wooden wall paneling, while the open construction of the roof structure is visible in the upper part, reminiscent of agricultural building traditions.
A Contemporary Tyrolean Parlor
This contemporary Tyrolean parlor offers informal seating areas and wooden platforms for visitors to choose their own individual resting spots in the freely accessible gathering place. Sheltered from the wind but unheated, this space allows visitors to take a break without consuming anything. Large panorama windows provide ample light and far-reaching views of the breathtaking scenery and surrounding mountains. The keyless structure also builds on the alpine tradition of shelter structures available for use in both summer and winter.
Panoramic Views and an Ensemble of Structures
At the top of the viewing tower, visitors can enjoy a unique 360-degree panoramic view of the alpine landscape in the fresh air. The shingle-clad valley station complements the tower, creating an ensemble that consciously reacts to the surroundings and landscape. With the new Hornbahn 2000 cable car structures, the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau resort offers an unforgettable mountain experience.
Photography by Christian Flatscher
Visit Snøhetta- by Matt Watts