Like a glass gem jutting up in the Austrian Alps, the Conference Crystal Iselsberg reinvents the dramatic landscape with its modern, angular form. The monolithic face of the building designed by Austrian design firm MHM Architects is much more active than at first glance. Light streams in from all sides, setting the stage for a brilliant interior space with jaw dropping views, and a rainbow of lights inside makes the building glow different colors from outside.
The ‘crystal’ effect is achieved by glazing slices of the building’s faceted volume with very dark, tinted glass. The massing is clearly informed by the mountains. Only when the interior star shape is illuminated in the assembly room and entrance does the secret of the building’s construction become clear — the glass hides the separation of floors and their function.
Used as a small, 600-square-meter event space, the top floor is crowned with a prismatic skylight, drenching the interior’s core with daylight. Expansive views of the Austrian Alps’ Dolomite mountain chain can be enjoyed with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The funky, multi-colored light source from the star pattern on the ceiling is mirrored by the same shape laid into the wooden floor, emphasizing the building’s geometry.
The lower floor contains small housing with kitchen, bath, and a couple of bedrooms for lecturers to stay. Restrooms for outdoor events are also in the ground floor, expanding the use of the building’s patios dramatically in the warmer months.
Photos © Paul Ott