Authenticity and elegance with the best Alpine hospitality
We are in Kleinwalsertal, an Austrian enclave in German territory at an altitude of 1100 m among the peaks of the Allgäu Alps. This upper valley maintains many of the traditions and customs that date back to the times of the first Walser inhabitants, who arrived here in the Middle Ages to populate a region which was still uninhabited.
This is the location of the luxury 5-star Travel Charme Ifen Hotel, which is the result of the renovation of the legendary Ifen Hotel built in the 1930s by Hans Kirchhoff, the architect and builder from Hanover.
Its original round structure situated on a rocky precipice provided a stunning panorama for the upmarket clientele it attracted, which included aristocrats and industrial entrepreneurs, and was a key part of the hotel's appeal. Thanks to its isolated position, aesthetic appeal and illustrious guests, the hotel became the symbol of Kleinwalsertal and offered the best of Alpine hospitality.
Inspired by the original architecture, 70 years later in 2007, the professor and architect Hermann Kaufmann renovated and extended the premises, creating a design which is every bit as charismatic.
Designed with sustainability criteria in mind, the new premises aim to fit into the landscape through the use of natural quality materials, with a focus on the optimum design of space and quality of life.
The hotel consists of two separate buildings, a modern section designed in accordance with sustainable architecture criteria and built in wood throughout with smart rooms and suites, and a carefully renovated historic building dedicated to culinary excellence with two restaurants, a library, conference centre, lounge bar, fitness centre and spa.
The eclectic work of the architect Lorenzo Bellini has produced timeless spaces for the interior design in a balanced contrast of styles, revamped with a modern twist and a natural ethos. Significant care has been taken over materials, colour and furnishings, to create understated and captivating surroundings in a relaxed atmosphere that still manage to surprise.
Murogeopietra was chosen for the large wall in the PURIA premium spa, an exclusive centre covering 2300 m², which is dedicated to a full range of holistic treatments and client wellbeing. With 15 treatment rooms, private suites, saunas and steam baths, ice fountains and saltwater tubs, the centre is a hub of relaxation and pleasure for the senses.
The Geopietra covering is installed on cladding in accordance with the tested and guaranteed ABITASISTEMA solution with insulation panels of considerable thickness.
The professional installation of this material contributes significantly to the aesthetics and functionality of the solution. Its natural appearance conceals technical aspects such as watertightness, optimum thermal inertia, water vapour resistance and low conductivity.
The warm hues of the stone authentically link indoor and outdoor environments. Running along the 18 m of the covered saltwater swimming pool, the murogeopietra continues outdoors past the large windows until reaching the panoramic hydromassage tub and the relaxation and garden areas.
Murogeopietra enhances the beautiful terrace at the Travel Charme IFEN Hotel and overlooks the garden from the PURIA premium spa. The stone base accentuates the circular pattern of the historic building and emphasises the importance of its form. Murogeopietra integrates perfectly with the surrounding landscape and acts as a bridge between both types of architecture in the hotel, between design and nature, and between modern art and alpine tradition. The Geopietra collection has an almost limitless range of stone profiles and shades which can be combined together. There are no design limits with Murogeopietra, be it the restoration of old walls or the creation of new solutions, there is something to suit all tastes and requirements.
Project Management: F+W Früh Wollasch architekten gmbh - http://www.fw-architekten.com
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Hermann Kaufmann (Reuthe, 11 June 1955) is an Austrian architect and a lecturer in wood design and structures at the Technical University of Munich.
(...) Building means researching the context - creating connections with the location, its features brought about by its natural surroundings, existing constructions and the community. We are connected to modern formal expression directed towards the future. ... We have two important issues to tackle - sustainable construction in its widest possible sense and modern wood constructions. We are in a position to cross the boundaries thanks to our in-depth and lengthy experience with wood. The benefits wood offers, with its ecological potential, are more convincing than ever. This local building resource offers the possibility of an alternative building method directed at the future, and we must include it in our daily and working lives as a viable alternative to conventional materials. (...) As far as we're concerned sustainability means considering the quality aspects of architectural knowledge, life cycle and ecology. We want to create buildings with intelligent designs that last and can be used in a multitude of ways.(...)