Berlin-based noa* (network of architecture) has replaced an aging swimming hut with the new Lake House Völs, a contemporary kiosk that will gradually blend into its scenic surroundings. Oriented for views of the idyllic Völser Weiher Lake in South Tyrol, the new construction provides public changing rooms, bathrooms, a snack bar and swimming jetties for nature lovers who flock to the area year-round. The wood-framed building is clad in untreated larch that will develop a natural patina over time, while fast-growing jasmine planted around the changing rooms will envelop part of the building in greenery to camouflage it from view. 

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a wood dock area on a lake, with a lake house and trees to the right

Set against a spectacular mountain backdrop with lush pine forests, the Lake House Völs anchors a popular destination for outdoor activities, from swimming in summer and ice skating in winter. Since the old facility lacked accessible features for people with disabilities, the architects demolished the existing structure and created two new compact buildings that fit roughly within the original footprint and are connected with a transverse axis defined by an open recess with a timber folding element. 

a lake with forest and mountains in the background and reflected in the lake

The main building is topped with a distinctive gabled roof with deep overhangs that frames views of the lake and provides shade to a large outdoor terrace. The terrace extends to a newly designed bathing area with jetties built of locally sourced wood. Inside, the main building houses a new snack bar, kitchen and counter for serving refreshments. The smaller structure next door features a nature-inspired green color palette and contains the changing rooms. The recess that connects the two buildings doubles as a secondary snack bar for smaller refreshments. 

Related: A historic hotel is sustainably revamped into a charming “alpine village” getaway

a view from inside the lake house, looking out on the lake and trees

In addition to using timber construction with locally sourced materials, the architects also tied the building to its site by incorporating a traditional South Tyrolean lace pattern into the resin filler. The 3D patterns in the resin “add a special visual flair and a touch of spontaneity,” said the architects.

+ noa*

Images by Alex Filz