The “Alte Schlachthof” in Brixen is a cultural monument and in its former function as a slaughterhouse it bears witness to city life since 1757. It has always been an integral part of food industry and thus an important element of this Alpine city. Due to urban development in the second half of the past century, its former function at this central location could no longer be justified, yet it remains part of the town’s history and of the cultural history of the town. Used over decades as a storehouse by the municipality, the location became squalid; a fact that had to be changed. Reviving the building was only possible by changing its purpose. There had to be found and created a utilization of the building that would allow the city’s inhabitants to be involved and to experience it in a new way. What we then did was to elaborate a concept based on a sustainable and resource-saving use of the existing historic structure. It is a concept that makes people curious and that awakes cultural life in a place where you can dwell and feel welcome.
The aim was to let the building remain the “Alte Schlachthof” because only as such it has a connection to the location, having grown with the city’s culture and history. Our intention was to preserve the building in its original form. To renovate it drastically would have been the wrong solution, so we renewed only its outer part: the windows, the facade, which was painted in the original colour, and the old concrete roofing tiles, that were reused on the roof. The building and its interior must continue to seem the place it was originally designed as. Only this way, it will preserve its credibility and identity. Both these arguments were the starting point of our idea; the garden and the empty interior offered enough seating and utility space to grant economic efficiency. It is our conviction to fill the place with new life without completely altering its identity. Our concept provides catering on the ground floor; we wanted to create space for another, newer, younger way of catering that uses regional products blended with international components offering an alternative to traditional cuisine. The location should appear as an open space, a fact that is architecturally repeated in the glazed kitchen and in the furniture – from its design to the choice of crockery.
Transparency and openness are very important for us, this is expressed through open shelves, slender tables and various other furnishing items. When a house is renovated and destined to a new aim, most of the time bricks and mortar is all that remains. This often makes us forget the people that filled a house’s history. So, we let the old tiles where they were to allow them to carry on part of this history. In accordance with the owner we decided for the attic to be transformed into a B&B to welcome new guests in the house and in the city and to underline the international flair. The rooms are designed as boxes, a fact that was chosen because the building is listed as a protected structure but also to stress the typically short stays in a B&B. The furnishing was designed accordingly, slightly more rustic. It emphasises the ambiance and is a logic consequence of the concept. The rooms are partially accessible by a bridge running on the old beams because they are an important feature of the old roof structure. The elevated sleeping level of the rooms made it possible to preserve the beams. The materials have the character of transport boxes which corresponds to the idea of converting the existing structure. Just some small accessories like cushions, lamps and the colour scheme relate to the comfortable feeling to be at home.