As we step into the enchanting episcopal city of Bressanone (or Brixen as it is more commonly referred) in South Tyrol, we cast our eyes on the striking and unusual architectural design of the TreeHugger Tourist Office designed by MoDus Architects. The site lies at the intersection of the roads leading into the small town in front of the important historical landmark of the Bishop’s Palace, which historically holds a central role in welcoming guests to the town.
In the 1930s, a pavilion in the form of a loggia referencing the Habsburg eagle’s nest was replaced by the modernist lines of the new “Autonomous Company of Care and Living,” which was in turn supplanted in the 1970s by the tourist pavilion of the beloved local architect Othmar Barth.
The TreeHugger Tourist Office project takes on the qualities of airiness and levity that characterise these pavilions passed to bring continuity to the lineage of these structures dedicated to the welcoming of visitors.
As if standing on its tiptoes, this beautifully elegant concrete structure frees up the ground level to give it over to the city as a public space. This newly found public space not only became a catalyst for the local administration to transform the entry into town into a pedestrian zone, but has also visually engaged the Bishops Palace with the city’s edge to create a more memorable facade to the city.
MoDus Architects explain:
With this project, new visual connections are made, not only to the main building of the Bishop’s Palace, but also in relationship to the ancillary Chinese and Japanese pavilions that mark the corners of the Bishop’s Palace gardens. The exotic, sinuous curves of the corner pavilions are reinterpreted in the project, transforming the Tourist Information Office into a new marker for the town.