Cloister Mehrerau School, Bregenz
Cloister Mehrerau School, Bregenz

Project Information


  • Cooperation
    ArchitekturBüro DI Christian Lenz ZT GmbH
  • Project Leader
    DI Rolf Ennulat
  • Colleague
    DI Nives Pavkovic
  • Cost Planning
    Immorent West GmbH, Feldkirch
  • Builder-Owner
    Collegium Bernardi - Kloster Mehrerau



    Project facts 3.700,00 m², GFA 4.500,00 m²,
    GBV 20.100,00 m³

    Text Hermann Kaufmann + Partner ZT GmbH,
    Translation Bronwen Rolls

    Photo Bruno Klomfar

    Project Stakeholders
    • Structural Engineering Timber Construction
      merz kaufmann partner GmbH, Dornbirn
    • Structural Engineering Concreate Construction
      M+G Ingenieure, DI Josef Galehr, Feldkirch
    • Heating Ventilation and Sanitary Planning
      GMI Ingenieure, Dornbirn
    • Electronics Planning
      Hecht Elektroplanung, Rankweil
    • Building Physics/Acoustics
      DI Dr. Lothar Künz ZT GmbH, Hard

    Cloister Mehrerau School Bregenz

    A contemporary intervention that sensitively fits into the existing ensemble.

    The whole complex, near the edge of Lake Constance, is formed of a church, a cloister, and school buildings  that are all create a formation around a central quadrant. The west wing had been used for educational purposes for centuries, but was no longer adequate for changing educational needs. It was therefore necessary to replace the dilapidated segment of the southern front of the west wing and replace it with suitable new classrooms.

    The space is now filled by a timber construction with a large glass-clad facade. Architecturally, the new annex is the central element of the facility. Its exciting asymmetry nonetheless remains roughly focused on the centre, despite the attractive gable on the left.

    Cloister Mehreau School
    is the first school in Austria, which is designed and realised in timber. This is due to the vast experience and understanding of the Vorarlberg timber construction companies, and the long tradition in the implementation of modern wooden structures.«

    DI Christian Lenz & Univ.-Prof. Arch. DI Hermann Kaufmann

    A box-like classroom block projects into the courtyard. It is separated from the existing walled structures by glass walls featuring slender mullions. Small carrel-like niches, for reflection, are located behind them and the northern light shines past them to the central hallway. The steps and an elevator are east of the vaulted entrance hall and cannot be seen from the outside since it would detract from the calm lines of the facade. The regular rhythm of the new window axes follows the historical division of the building and corresponds to the width of the interior vaulting.  This helps maintain the proportions of the complex despite the use of alternative materials and light construction techniques as opposed to solid stone walls.

    The ground floor facade is solid with an oak-wood-glass construction on the 1st and 2nd floors. This creates a deliberate contrast to the rendered neighbouring buildings that surround this specific situation.

    The energy concept of the building is state-of-the-art. The energy is powered by a recycled wood-chip plant. Controlled building ventilation is not only significant for the air quality in the school, but also for the heating energy consumption because of the heat recovery system. It is a new contribution to the ecology discussion due to the use of timber and its latest energy-saving technologies.

    Project Details


    • Menschengerechtes Bauen
    • Glulam-Award-Preis des europ. Holzleimbauverbandes
    • Gymnasium Mehrerau
      ZN B-006, Mehrgeschossiger Holzhausbau, S.125-127
    • Subtile Architektur einer hölzernen Welt
      ZN Z-005, architektur & wirtschaft, 12/1997, S.103-107
    • Jahresbericht des Gymnasiums Mehrerau 1996/97
      ZN Z-021, Mehrerauer Grüße, Sonderheft 74,1997
    • Gymnasium am Kloster Mehrerau
      ZN Z-023, baukultur, 1/98, S.32/33
    • Die Differenzierung der Wand
      ZN Z-025, Margit Ulama, Architektur Aktuell, 221/1998, S.98-107
    • Einbau satatt Anbau
      ZN Z-026, leonardo online, No./Dez. 6/98, S. 26-30
    • Umbau Gymnasium Kloster Mehrerau
      ZN B-018, H.E. Kramel, 4 x 100 Holzbaubeispiele
    • Glulam Award
      ZN Z-020, European Glulam Award 99, Sonderheft, S. 9
    • Intelligente Holzbauten
      ZN Z-024, Der Zimmermann, 12/99, S. XII-XII
    • Glulam Award 99
      ZN Z-027, Architektur Aktuell, 227, S. 14-15
    • Klostermauern?
      ZN Z-022, Brigitte Dallinger, Schule & Sportstätten, 1/2001, S. 13, 14
    • Drevena Architektura v galerii K.F.A.
      ZN Z-066, ARCH o architektúre a inej kultúre, rocnik 6., c.1 , 1/2001 S.7
    • Ein roter Faden aus Holz
      ZN Z-078, Ryll Christine, Deutsche Bauzeitschrift 10/2001 S. 127
    • Gymnasium Kloster Mehrereau
      ZN Z-082, Kristin Wittmer, Architektonische Akzente Baukunst in Bregenz 2001, S 20-21
    • Umbau Kloster Mehrerau
      ZN Z-091, Baukunst und Energieeffizienz, Symposium 2002, S. 52-57
    • Gymnasium Kloster Mehrerau, Umbau
      ZN B-028, Nina Baisch, Architekturführer Bodensee, S. 108-109
    • Monastery renovation
      ZN Z-118, World Architecture, 8/2005, S. 48-51