Avalanches are a major concern for those living in the Austrian Alps, so the Wildbach & Lawinenverbauung (WLV) in Liezen was specifically designed to address this danger. Conceived by KREINERarchitektur, the flood and avalanche center is built from concrete, stone, wood and glass and seeks to respect and reflect the surrounding mountains and environment. The goal of the center is to not only protect the neighboring land but also to protect the people that play and spend time in nature there.
WLV Liezen features a shingled, curved roof that wraps up and over the office and warehouse evolving into a cubic form on the opposite end. On this end there are impressive views of the mountains along with light and airy rooms that adapt sensitively to the surrounding landscape. Open and transparent, the center is meant to exude friendly nature and welcome visitors to learn more about the environment and natural dangers. The facility also includes archives, a canteen, a meeting room and a multifunctional foyer.
The flood and avalanche center is built from untreated larch wood, glass, raw stone and concrete – all materials that lend well to reuse and recycling and are respectful of the surrounding nature. Stone gabion baskets serve as a partial foundation, facade and rain screen for the lower floor, while the upper floor is encased in a louvered facade that works to project the interior form heat gain. The distinctive silhouette depicts the waves of a stream and the materials used for construction are also a symbol of taming the stream as a way of flood control.
Images ©Mirja Geh