Hermann Kaufmann

Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award 2010

In his architecture, Hermann Kaufmann adapts the well-renowned wood building tradition of his home region of the Vorarlberg mountains. He has placed particular emphasis on the research and development of the wood building process. Long distances, harsh winters and isolated villages have led to a production structure typical for which is small units and collaboration.

The challenges of building in the mountains have inspired Kaufmann to develop also prefabrication techniques. In industrial and office building, solid wood intermediate floor slabs have solved the problem of achieving long spans.

This book presents, through photos, drawings and texts, 18 wooden buildings constructed during the period 1995 – 2009, and ranging from farm buildings to industrial buildings, from community centres to the restoration of a monastery and an inn, and from private residences to multi-storey apartment blocks.

But what all these projects have in common is a good energy economy, ecological sustainability, healthy structures connected with harmonious forms and fine workmanship.

The sites presented include Zerlauth House, the Elma Alp Vacation home, Ludesch Community Centre, the Metzler Timber Warehouse and Offices, and the Mehrerau Gymnasium renovation, all in the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, and the Mühlweg apartment block in Vienna.

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