Jakob Zöbl


Hohe Tauern National Park 2020

With “Palimpsest,” this thesis investigates the architectural potential and poetic power of infra- structure buildings in a remote alpine area of the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. Drawin on the author’s travel through the alps and observation of various relationships of infrastructurand landscape, an analog photo series documents these monofunctional structures in and aroun the national park context. Although the photographed buildings demonstrate naked singularity they open up to new interpretations through the exposure of time and decay, denying the postmodern dress of a facade and exposing the dichotomy between nature and our artificial world in its purest form. The alpine scenery strengthens the metaphysical expression of these anonymous structures, winding alpine roads, and retaining walls cutting through mountains—a reminiscence both beautiful and uncanny. With the conversion of an old mining ruin, the author’s analysis leads to a project that illustrates how an isolated infrastructure can be developed according to the notion of “process protection.” The project does not seek to conserve or re-construct the existing building but pro- poses a self-regulating transformation. Due to urban sprawl, the countryside—like paper in ancient times—becomes an extremely valuable resource that must be rewritten. It is about the abolition of the machine ideology, using machine elements to create new architecture—against function, against speed, against geographic subjectivity. Two functions inform and rewrite the layers of time in these existing structures: first, for meteorological and geological recording and ice core storage devices, auxiliary spaces are provided for the Sonnblick observatory. Secondly, a refuge for alpinists is proposed that connects the more technical spaces to the unique geography as a tangible space in time.

1st prize, Graz Architecture Diploma Awards 2020

@counterintuitive_typologies #alps #nationalpark #hohetauern #processprotection #fragments #infrastructure #reminiscence #mountaineering #preservation #glacier #palimpsest #spolia

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