Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz

Text description provided by the architects. The Schafbergbahn was put into operation in 1893 and is the steepest steam rack railway in Austria. The route leads from St. Wolfgang in the valley to the summit of the Schafberg. The valley station was getting on in years and could no longer meet the contemporary requirements of a tourist business. In 2019 an EU-wide open competition procedure was carried out with 54 participants. The resulting project was completed in April 2023.

Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Exterior Photography
Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Image 15 of 18

The valley station of the cogwheel railway is located at the foot of the Schafberg directly on Lake Wolfgang. It consists of a two-story main building and a single-story outbuilding. Together with the existing buildings of the workshops, they enclose the station area in a courtyard-like manner. A shed roof stretches over the two new buildings, which also creates the platform canopy and spatially connects the large form of the station.

Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Interior Photography
Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Interior Photography, Stairs, Windows
Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Image 17 of 18

The folding of the roof also folds vertically as a second façade level and continues the design motif of the folding structure in the views. The resulting smallness in appearance distorts the scale of the building and creates a dialogue with the small-scale development of the surrounding area.

Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Interior Photography, Chair
Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Interior Photography, Dining room, Table, Beam

In the main building, the various public functional areas such as the entrance hall with ticketing, exhibition, shop, restaurant, and event area were arranged in an open hall. This was strongly opened to the surroundings by circumferential glazing in the facades and in the shed roof, thus creating a reference to the lake and the mountains.

Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Interior Photography, Kitchen, Beam, Countertop

The materials wood and steel play a central role. The overlapping of the station typology with the requirements for the building from tourist use spans a wide and exciting thematic arc. “Industrial” materials and a technical design language anchor the building atmospherically in the station typology, while wood creates a quality of stay for visitors.

Schafbergbahn Station / dunkelschwarz - Image 6 of 18

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