It's time for new architecture

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It's time for new architecture

A modern office produced from a renovated barn

When the private brewery Hirt in Carinthia was planning to build new offices the idea of using the old barn quickly gained pace. The building dated back 400 years and was only being used as a storeroom and workshop. “We were immediately fascinated by this vast area in the heart of the brewery”, recalls the architect Stefan Kogler from s k a p e architects. The initial plan for a new building or the addition of an office on the existing building was therefore redefined.


“The aim on one hand was to combine innovation with tradition, while maintaining the rustic character of the building and creating an overall style with a pleasant work environment”, stated the architect Stefan Kogler, “and to create a sustainable construction on the other.” The barn renovation project started in 2014. The upper floor and loft  were transformed into offices bathed in light. “During the renovation we considered ethical principles such as sustainability and regional character, which are also the underlying principles of the brewery”, explained the architect. The best example is that the old barn wood was kept and reused for most of the elements. Natural stone walls and pillars are partially exposed. The ground floor façade matches perfectly thanks to Geopietra with its unique stone, making it possible to recreate any type of wall, even rustic designs.

In this article: Geopietra wall - customised wall model Profile Spontaneous


Natural materials also dominate the exterior. Along with the wood, the Geopietra wall phrases the architecture as a modern interpretation of classic building tradition. “The existing buildings have to be treated with care to preserve their substance. The greatest challenge is combining the 'substance' of a centuries-old building with the modern requirements of today's world of work”, explained Kogler. Behind the stone façade on the first floor is the Bierathek,  the beer room where visitors can find house specialities alongside products from the Alpe-Adria region. A panoramic terrace is above where all offices can be accessed. Management offices form a box shape in the roof, which is partially inside and outside the building.

However, it is the original roof truss that dominates the design, which attracts upward glances on entering the building. A connecting walkway in the attic provides an impressive view of the timber construction. 20 offices, two meeting rooms and numerous accessory rooms with a unique atmosphere have been built in the roughly 1200 m2 of the upper floor and loft. A lift that was required to be situated outside the building opens at all floors in the building and has been accommodated with no architectural barriers. “Respecting old values makes it possible to create new ones, and this project is a good example of my motto. It stands out due to the care taken to preserve not only substance, but also characteristics, and sustainability and efficiency are guaranteed to meet modern-day requirements in relation to energy supplies and comfort”, explained the delighted Stefan Kogler.


The St. Veit architecture firm received Office of the Year award for turning the 400-year-old Privatbrauerei business premises into a modern management centre with offices. The panel of judges chose the transformation as an excellent example of sustainable building use.


Photos: Skape architecture by Stefan Kogler

Arch. Stefan Kogler

“S K A P E ARCHITECTS” Perfection throughout.

Stefan Kogler and his team specialise in renovating historic buildings, successfully combining the traditional 'substance' of the building with contemporary architecture. "There are three crucial aspects - aesthetics, a technically mature design, and the success of the implementation", underlined Stefan Kogler. Stefan Kogler has received numerous awards - in addition to the House of the Year award received in London, he had already been honoured with the GAD award, the Archilegno award from Graz Polytechnic, a 'sustainable project' award, and the Eichholzer prize. Stefan Kogler is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) thanks to numerous years in international business carried out in London. With additional training as a builder, he has a keen interest in sustainability and energy efficiency. With his practical approach, he skilfully combines shape and function.