Located on the southern shore of Lake Ossiach, Stift Ossiach has existed for nearly 1,000 years and has always been a cradle of cultural development in the region. After the dissolution of the Benedictine monastery in 1783, parts of the complex were partially demolished and repurposed for the military. After decades of neglect and deterioration, the site regained cultural significance with the establishment of the Carinthian Summer music event in 1960, and more recently, the Carinthian Music Academy. The academy expands the site’s musical focus by adding an educational component, effectively creating a year-round music centre.
However, many actors who are involved with Stift Ossiach believe that some architectural additions are necessary to truly reflect the cultural significance of this place. During the analysis and research phase of this project, three main focal points have emerged. Firstly, the design of the Stiftshof, used for open-air concerts. Secondly, a former stable south of the complex offers the potential to expand the abbey hotel and diversify the range of leisure activities within the complex. The main part of the project involves designing a concert hall with a capacity for over 1,000 visitors, which is currently lacking in Carinthia.
A central idea of the design is the restoration of the lost eastern Stiftshof, once designed as a cloister. The forecourt of the concert hall, designed as an arcade, represents not so much a reconstruction of a lost quality of the place, but rather a built logic inherent to the complex, asserting its correctness and spatial quality for the extension of the new concert hall.
The goal of this project is to demonstrate that an architectural response to the history of this place is a crucial contribution to creating a contemporary cultural centre outside of Austria’s cultural metropolises.