If the Austrian Bundesland (state) of Styria is known as the 'Green Heart of Austria' then Bad Gleichenberg- a small town in the very south east of Styria- could be considered as the vital Cardiac muscle.
Bad Gleichenberg is a spa town with a rich history of visitors who have come to recover and be healed in this naturally beautiful environment. The rolling, hilly landscape and natural spring make this one of the most desirable wellness destinations in Austria.
Complimenting the natural, green environment are 3 man made structures. Buildings which not only add aesthetic beauty, but also offer environmental benefits such as; support for biodiversity, rain water retention, decreasing the Urban heat Island effect and providing thermal insulation for the building itself (thus leading to a decrease in heating and cooling energy).
These 3 buildings located in Bad Gleichenberg are different in appearance, constructed from different materials and used for different purposes. The one thing which these buildings have in common is that they have Green Roofs.
The design of the wellness spa and hotel Das Kurhaus presented Norwegian architects Jensen and Skodvin a number of challenges. The brief stipulated that existing trees should remain untouched, the small creek which ran through the middle of the construction site be left as natural as possible, and that the building be integrated with the surrounding tree dominated landscape.
Built in 2007, the result is simply stunning. The majority of the building is perched on tall concrete columns, effectively minimising the footprint on the natural ground. The wellness area wraps its way around existing, mature trees, allowing them to climb 'through' the curves of building. Floor to ceiling windows connect the inside to the green natural environment outside, and allow natural light to fill the corridors, and treatment areas.
On the second floor the main restaurant, complete with roof terrace offers a panoramic view of the well designed and constructed building. The tops of the trees protrude through elegant curves of the building. The sedum covered green roofs further tie the building to the natural environment. In summer the bright green of the sedum gleams and really sets this larch clad, curved masterpiece off.
Landesberufschule- Hospitality School
Shopping Arcade and Tourist information
For more information on Bad Gleichenberg visit http://www.bad-gleichenberg.at/bad-gleichenberg