Steirereck am Pogusch / PPAG Architects

The inn and gourmet restaurant Steirereck am Pogusch in the Austrian Alps combines down-to-earthiness, haute cuisine, high-tech work processes, sustainable agriculture, and luxury hotels in one structure. The nationwide well-known inn has been expanded on a large scale but is largely invisible. The project consists of existing buildings such as the stone house and the wooden house, which have been renovated to a high standard and expanded with additions. These additions, namely Salettl, bar kitchen, a kitchen garden, and a large glasshouse are partially buried due to the existing hillside location.

Architects: PPAG Architects
Location: Upper Styria, Austria
Photography: Hertha Hurnaus

Through various restrained interventions, existing buildings and additions form a village ensemble on the scale of rural development. PPAG has also designed numerous details such as anamorphic door handles, 3D-printed washbasins, and spatially effective wooden slat curtains, which give the project the dimension of a kind of ultra-modern total work of art – and take visitors* into an unfamiliar mountain world.

Glasshouses at this altitude at over 1,050 m above sea level. pose a special challenge. An enormous research drive, to a small extent crop cultivation, and last but not least, innovative, unconventional guest accommodations are the focal points of the greenhouses.

The glasshouses are actually cold and warm glasshouses and have different tasks to fulfill: the large, cold glasshouse (minimum temperature around the freezing point) is used for year-round plant cultivation. There are also unconventional accommodation options for unconventional guests. Underneath the cold glasshouse is a special bathing area that goes with it.

The warm glasshouse (approx. 22°), connected to it, supplies the kitchen with fresh herbs and spices and is an intimate backstage area in which new ideas can be developed. Both greenhouses are connected to the underlying kitchen area via atriums and enhance this with direct daylight. This large, hidden world in the background, which is responsible for the well-being of the guest, hardly appears on a postcard. But under the turf, there are well-lit workplaces with high spatial quality.

Together with the existing stone house and wooden house, the new Salettl forms a differentiated range of guest rooms that can serve different ideas of hospitality and atmosphere. In addition to the existing building, it is open and transparent with a view of the surrounding nature. The spatial comfort comes from flexible, changeable wooden slat curtains. A large number of different room areas can be created in a simple, quick, and uncomplicated manner.