IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-01

IGNANT’s South Tyrol Architecture Guide

Scroll

South Tyrol, the autonomous province in northern Italy, is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes; with the Dolomites mountain range providing some of the world’s most iconic skiing and cycling routes.

With its cinematic lakes and endless nature reserves, the region offers attractive hiking, mountain biking, and swimming, alongside stunning mountainside accommodation and alluring restaurants and wineries. However, recreation is not the only activity to entice visitors—South Tyrol’s public architecture provides a fascinating glimpse into the dynamic fusion of past and present, where cultural heritage is preserved alongside modern, unusual forms. Recently we visited South Tyrol to compile a list of ten of the most arresting architectural sites it features, away from typical tourist destinations. From museums and viewing platforms that extend out over valleys towards snow-capped mountains, to a wine cellar and whisky distillery whose architectural forms rival their functions, the below list comprises our favorite South Tyrolean locations for you to visit.

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-02
Pacherhof Wine Cellar

Michael Pacher, 1, 39040 Neustift Bozen, Italy

Messner Mountain Museum Corones IGNANT Clemens Poloczek-01
Messner Mountain Museum Corones

Plan de Corones, 39030 Enneberg, Bozen, Italy

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-01 copy
Oberholz Mountain Hut Restaurant

Via Obereggen, 16, 39050 Obereggen, Bozen, Italy

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-03
The Rose of Vierschach

Außerberg Monte di Fuori, 1, 39030 Sexten, Bozen, Italy

Puni Whisky Distillery IGNANT Clemens Poloczek 001
Puni Whisky Distillery

Via Mühlbach, 2, 39020 Glurns, Bozen, Italy

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-03 copy
Mirror Houses

Grutzenweg, 75, 39100 Bozen, Südtirol, Italy

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-4
Lake House Völs

Völs am Schlern, 39050, Südtirol, Italy

IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-01
Iceman Ötzi Peak

Schnals, Südtirol, Italy

IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-03
TreeHugger Tourist Office

Viale Ratisbona, 9, 39042 Brixen, Bozen, Italy

ignant-architecture-timmelsjoch-experience-alexa-rainer-01-2048x1371
The Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum

Ötztal Straße, Gemeinde, Österreich

Pacherhof Wine Cellar
IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-05 copy

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-01

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-02

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-03

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Pacherhof-Wine-Cellar-04

Image © Gustav Willeit

WHO: Pacherhof Wine Cellar

WHERE: Michael Pacher, 1, 39040 Neustift Bozen, Italy

WHAT: Bergmeisterwolf Architekten has designed the extension of a modern wine cellar for Pacherhof—the oldest winery in the Eisack Valley, which is home to the winemaking tradition of the region. The geometric form of the building contrasts with the peaks of the mountains; the funnel-shaped polygonal tower with its slate-colored exterior and abstract shape create an almost geological interpretation of its surroundings. The pared-back interior with its modern steel machinery contrasts against the rough existing stonework of the old cellar. Here, winemaker Andreas Huber cultivates South Tyrolean white wine, pressing the grapes in his own cellar. Guided tours of the vineyard with wine tastings can be reserved through the Pacherhof Wine Cellar’s website. 

Messner Mountain Museum Corones
Messner Mountain Museum Corones IGNANT Clemens Poloczek-01

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Messner Mountain Museum Corones IGNANT Clemens Poloczek-05

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Messner Mountain Museum Corones IGNANT Clemens Poloczek-04

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Messner Mountain Museum Corones IGNANT Clemens Poloczek-06

Image © Clemens Poloczek

WHO: Messner Mountain Museum Corones

WHERE: Plan de Corones, 39030 Enneberg, Bozen, Italy

WHAT: At the top of Alpine peak Mount Kronplatz, international architecture firm Zaha Hadid designed this museum for renowned climber Reinhold Messner. It completes a series of six mountaintop museums, the first five having been built by Messner—who was the first climber to ascend all 14 mountains in the region. The concrete Corones iteration is inspired by the geological forms of rock and ice of the surrounding location; three large volumes appear to emerge from the mountain, with a viewing platform that cantilevers out over the valley. The first two feature windows with picturesque views of the Peitlerkofel and Heiligkreuzkofel mountains, while the third is a balcony that projects out by six meters, offering visitors a western view towards the Ortler mountain range. Inside, underground galleries exhibit objects, images, and stories of Messner’s life as a mountaineer.

 

Oberholz Mountain Hut Restaurant
IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-05 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-03

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-01 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-02

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Peter-Pichler-Oberholz-04 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

WHO: Oberholz Mountain Hut Restaurant

WHERE: Via Obereggen, 16, 39050 Obereggen, Bozen, Italy

WHAT: Three blackened wood huts with pitched roofs extend out over a hilly site to form this stunning mountain restaurant by Peter Pichler Architecture and Pavol Mikolajcak. Located in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, the building, which is designed as a large, contemporary alpine hut, features a sunny terrace with 360-degree panoramic views of the slopes; an alluring accompaniment to the Oberholz ski resort. “The cantilevering structure grows out of the hill like a fallen tree, with three main branches creating a symbiosis with the landscape,” the architects explain. Inside the stately building, the restaurant’s zigzagging roof features exposed spruce wood panels. With the viewing windows, a pared-back interior, and muted color palette, the modern restaurant provides an intimate atmosphere to enjoy lunch while resting from skiing or snowboarding. The restaurant can only be reached by taking the adjoining chairlift Oberholz from Obereggen, Pampeago, or Predazzo.

The Rose of Vierschach
IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-01

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-02 copy

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-03

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-04

Image © Gustav Willeit

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Rose-Of-Vierschach-05

Image © Gustav Willeit

WHO: The Rose of Vierschach

WHERE: Außerberg Monte di Fuori, 1, 39030 Sexten, Bozen, Italy

WHAT: This minimal rose-tinted structure serves as a fire station for the town of Vierschach in South Tyrol. Designed by Italian studio Pedevilla Architects, the design prioritizes simplicity and durability—while the red color is a sign of the building’s function, and “underscores its independence,” the architects explain. Built at 1130 meters above sea level from lightweight concrete, the project offers a clear, compact structure. Inside, stone, pine, and native Loden wood were used to create a warm contrast to the concrete exterior, providing a welcoming atmosphere to the space, which doubles as a hall for local residents.

 

Puni Whisky Distillery
Puni Whisky Distillery IGNANT Clemens Poloczek 001

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Puni Whisky Distillery IGNANT Clemens Poloczek 007

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Puni Whisky Distillery IGNANT Clemens Poloczek 006

Image © Clemens Poloczek

Puni Whisky Distillery IGNANT Clemens Poloczek 005

Image © Clemens Poloczek

WHO: Puni Whisky Distillery

WHERE: Via Mühlbach, 2, 39020 Glurns, Bozen, Italy

WHAT: The Puni Whisky Distillery, designed by local architect Werner Tscholl, is located in the midst of the Alps near the Ortler mountain range. The family-run business, named after a local river, is responsible for creating the country’s first all-Italian single malt whisky. “With pure alpine water and a varying climate, the Italian Highlands are an ideal place for creating an extraordinary whisky,” the owners explain. The architects designed a cube-like distillery made from bricks, with a latticed pattern and earthy tone that is inspired by local barns. The inside of the double height of the production zone provides views to the underground silos and the stills from the store situated at the entrance level. One can explore the entire production area by taking a tour to learn everything about the malt whisky’s production.

Mirror Houses
IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-05 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-02

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-03 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-01 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Mirror-Houses-04 copy

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

WHO: The Mirror Houses

WHERE: Grutzenweg, 75, 39100 Bozen, Südtirol, Italy

WHAT: This pair of holiday homes, designed by Peter Pichler Architecture, are set into the picturesque surroundings of the South Tyrolean Dolomites, just outside the city of Bozen. The two adjoining guest houses feature a mirrored facade to the west; they reflect the surrounding mountains amidst scenery of grassed lawns, apple tree vineyards, and a contemporary swimming pool. Each house contains a kitchen and living room as well as a bathroom and bedroom, with large skylights that allow natural light and ventilation. The two houses are slightly staggered in height and alignment to create some visual separation. Roof canopies extend horizontally over the terraces, with smooth profiles that curve down to form a divider between unusually-shaped windows. The guest houses can be booked for a holiday through the Mirror House website. 

Lake House Völs
IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-5

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-4

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-2

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-1

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Architecture-South-Tyrol-Lake-house-noa-3

Image © Alex Filz

WHO: Lake House Völs

WHERE: Völs am Schlern, 39050, Südtirol, Italy

WHAT: Amid a spectacular mountain backdrop lined with verdant pine forests, Network of Architecture (Noa*) designed a wooden pavilion set right on the water’s edge of the Völser Weiher lake. Despite its name, Lake House Völz is not accommodation; rather it offers a space for visitors to come at any time of the year for recreation or to relax. The building’s facilities include public changing rooms and a kiosk for snacks, which opens out to a large, decked terrace with sweeping views over the lake, and a new area for swimming. The wooden exterior acts as a support structure for climbing plants: within a few months, the architects have planned for fast-growing jasmine to envelop the facility, enabling the building to disappear into its surroundings.

Iceman Ötzi Peak
IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-01

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-04

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-09

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-02

Image © Alex Filz

IGNANT-Travel-NOA-Otzi-Peak-013

Image © Alex Filz

WHO: Iceman Ötzi Peak

WHERE: Schnals, Südtirol, Italy

WHAT: This new viewing platform, also designed by Network of Architecture (Noa*), is located at the top of the Schnals Valley Glacier ridge in South Tyrol. Located right on a glacier at the very top of the ridge, the platform sits 3,251 metres above sea level. Hovering above the ground at certain angles, the platform gives visitors to the area an incredible view of the surrounding alpine landscape. It is constructed from Corten steel. Visitors can access Ötzi Peak by climbing a series of stairs, as an added attraction for guests of the nearby Hotel Grawand, which is the highest altitude hotel in Europe. “The unique platform creates a fully immersive, sensual experience in which time stands still for a moment and every other souvenir is eclipsed,” explain the architects.

TreeHugger Tourist Office
IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-01

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-02

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-03

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-05

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

IGNANT-Architecture-Bressanone-Tourist-Office-04

Image © Oskar Da Riz 

WHO: TreeHugger Tourist Office

WHERE: Viale Ratisbona, 9, 39042 Brixen, Bozen, Italy

WHAT: This uniquely-designed tourist office in the town of Brixen, the oldest town in South Tyrol, features smooth concrete walls that curve around the trunk of a pair of trees. Therefore titled TreeHugger, the angular, minimalist building was designed by local studio MoDus Architects. It stands directly next to the Bishop’s Palace, a 13th-century villa that exists as one of the town’s main attractions for visitors. With sculptural overhangings and asymmetrical proportions, the project takes on a visual quality of levity; with the large volume of the second story jutting out over the ground floor, which appears as a glass box encased within the overall building. Here, visitors can obtain information about the surrounding public squares, churches, museums, and guided tours through Brixen. 

The Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum
ignant-architecture-timmelsjoch-experience-alexa-rainer-01-2048x1371

Image © Alexa Rainer

ignant-architecture-timmelsjoch-experience-alexa-rainer-02

Image © Alexa Rainer

IGNANT-Architecture-Timmelsjoch-Experience-Alexa-Rainer-03

Image © Alexa Rainer

IGNANT-Architecture-Timmelsjoch-Experience-Alexa-Rainer-04

Image © Alexa Rainer

WHO: The Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum

WHERE: Ötztal Straße, Gemeinde, Österreich

WHAT: Located right on the edge of South Tyrol’s border with Austria, Timmelsjoch is a high mountain pass on the Ötztal Alps. The drive through this winding strip is worth it alone for the stunning scenery; it is here, on the highest point of the pass, that The Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum was erected. Designed by local architect Werner Tscholl, the museum appears to balance on the edge of a rock. Its foundation is constructed on the North Tyrolean side, however its concrete mass cantilevers 16 meters out onto the South Tyrolean side. Its sculptural form is an architectural site in and of itself, while the interior is designed to resemble the inside of an icy cave. With its dramatic scenery, particularly on the southern side, the road has also become popular with cyclists. Visiting travelers to the museum can learn about the natural surroundings, the history, the culture, and the communities of the region. 

– This story was produced in collaboration with Visit South Tyrol