Jugendherberge Berchtesgaden / DE
Breathing new life into an old standard: a major remodelling by LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) resulted in Germany’s first designer youth hostel, located in the town of Berchtesgaden. Owned by the Bavarian Regional Association of the German Youth Hostel Association, “Haus Untersberg” (built in 1935) was modernized as the first of four buildings in this parkland ensemble.
The goal was to preserve the original building while further enhancing it with contemporary architecture. A central focus was on the practical needs and design tastes of young guests and families. “Our design concept is guided by the idea of layering and penetration,” explains architect Tobias Wallisser. “There’s a complementary contrast between old and new – we broke apart outmoded structures and replaced them with flexible, open spatial units.”
When entering the youth hostel’s reception area, one is immediately welcomed by a colourful bar code that stretches across the walls and ceiling, inspired by the flags of all countries. There are now two cosy lounge areas, along with 20 new rooms for 93 guests. Here, the visitor is pleasantly surprised by clean lines and forms. Instead of a dreary dorm atmosphere, the architects have used colour accents and customized furnishings to organize the space into generous zones. Beds and closets are not placed in indiscriminate rows, but instead enjoy a flowing transition with the walls and ceiling, sometimes integrated as built-in furniture. A special highlight is the “think and relax” boxes, found in the three balcony rooms: these projecting cubic wooden spaces break up the outside façade while also acting as display cases with views of the Watzmann, the local Alpine peak.
Despite such modernizations, the house’s Alpine character also had to be maintained. This is why the architects largely chose regional and natural materials, such as larch wood and DLW Linoleum from Armstrong: the hallways and washbasin areas feature the monochrome classic Uni Walton in a light brown. In fact, DLW Linoleum contains almost 98 per cent organic and mineral components, thus saving resources and preserving the environment; it also promotes long-term sustainability, as this flooring will provide a warm and comfortable walking surface for many years. Furthermore, linoleum is extremely robust, durable and low-maintenance – important criteria in a youth hostel, with so many visitors coming and going every day.
|Country/City:||Germany / Bischofswiesen|
|Client:||Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk Landesverband Bayern e.V.|
|Architect:||LAVA - Laboratory for Visionary Architecture|
|Address:||Struberberg 6, 83483 Bischofswiesen, Deutschland|