A foreign Object amidst the Wine Architecture of South Tyrol

A foreign Object amidst the Wine Architecture of South Tyrol


In South Tyrol a very young brewery has launched an architecture competition the architect Christian Rübbert from Bolzano won.

In 2010, after experiencing five years of positive feedback on their beer, the owners of the BergnerBräu GmbH brewery, founded in 2005, decided to purchase a prestigious lot at the Südtiroler Weinstraße (South Tyrolean Wine Route) between Eppan and Kaltern and to build a brewery there. For that purpose the principal has launched a competition Christian Rübbert Architekt has won. All in all nine architecture firms from South Tyrol were able to participate, each had four months to hand in their ideas.

It’s a rare thing that an architecture competition is launched for a new brewery building. Either already existing brewery buildings are re-built or renovated, or the principal gives the job to an architecture firm directly. Another rare fact is that a brewery, BergnerBräu in this case, settles in South Tyrol of all places, since this area is better known for making wine.

A Cube with quite something Inside

The Bergnerbräu management deliberately decided in favor of an already existing business area instead of placing the building into the South Tyrolean scenery. The principal did not want to add another building to the landscape, following the motto of sustainability and handling nature with care. Hence, it was up to the architecture to establish the relation to the landscape and to use the mountain scenery as a backdrop. So, dealing with the terrain became the basis of all design approaches.

The slope situation, becoming flat towards the East and result from building the wine route, is made use of in the design made by Christian Rübbert Architekt in a clever way. The structure of the building is rather modest, and the backdrop is still visible. Two parking levels touch the building in the West, the areas being the “roof” of a subterranean filling line and the magazine, which is thus protected from natural light. The two parking levels are divided into themes: The lower parking level contains the production logistics, the top one will be there for the visitors. Thanks to this arrangement all production areas are connected with each other on the same level, a fact which is a great advantage in terms of organization.

The technology for the brewery has been planned by Dr. August Gresser beforehand. It is supposed to guarantee a smooth production process as well as an initial capacity of 20,000 liters per year. Nothing indicated that these requirements would limit the design leeway for the architect Christian Rübbert. The building makes good use of the 6,047 square meters, it is modest and yet an eye-catcher. Important aspects such as transparency, readability and openness have been put into effect in a perfect manner.

From the Eastern Wine Route you get an insight into the hall with the tank batteries, this way the building can be recognized as a brewery even for people passing by in their cars. The building in general has been designed in a transparent way, the beer bar and the beer garden for up to 350 people should emphasize the inviting character of the brewery even more.

The Materials

A steel grid structure is the basic structure of the above-ground part of the new building, it is completed by a roof construction consisting of a combined steel-timber supporting structure. The flat roof gets an expanded clay fill plenty of green is going to be planted on. The constructive parts, the sub-terranean areas as well as the ceilings are built with cast-in-place concrete or pre-fabricated elements.

The pavilion-like shape of the building and the coffer-like façade remind of a transparent beer temple. This impression is increased by the amber-colored and perforated shell made of copper-colored aluminum sheet metal.

The Architect about his Design

In his designChristian Rübbert combines the two essential components of the brewery;beer being a traditional product serving as the down-to-earthbasis of the architecture, and the highly technical production processcalling for a modern design for the building. The architect’s design solution is a plain, precise and modest structure adapting to its surroundings, yet still setting highlights.

Project details


Christian Rübbert Architekt


6,074 m2


BergnerBräu GmbH


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