Project Information

Gutsbetrieb Rheinhof, Hohenems

The building is basically a giant timber raincoat allowing light and air to enter, while keeping strong winds out.

The stable for 110 animals is part of the organically farmed teaching premises of the agricultural college in Hohenems. Together with school representatives, local farmers and agriculture officials, Kaufmann developed an efficient alternative to conventional stables with a gable roof. To allow light and air into the 46 m long and 30 m wide stable, the building envelope takes the shape, in parts, of a basilica. The pitched roof directs light into the building though vertical skylights, while providing a natural chimney effect to circulate the air. The longitudinal elevations feature un-glazed window bands under a protective eaves. Translucent blinds can be lowered to protect these openings against strong wind and rain. The entire structure is built of solid timber grown locally; a new joining method is used to hold together the frame, replacing traditional glue-laminated timber.

The structural system’s appearance is airy and marked by a large number of unique elements. This is related to the decision to use timber from nearby forests: the length of the wood was limited to that which could be found locally. Gluelam technology was not used due to its environmental impact. Therefore, together with structural engineer and carpenter Konrad Merz, Kaufmann developed adequate frame elements by creating double and triple layers of jointed solid timber beams. The details are simple and the joints require only a small number of steel elements. Threaded metal rods carry the tension loads; their slenderness contributes to the building’s light and airy appearance.

The central nave consists of pitched trusses, while the aisles are supported by simple beams. Beams made of plain-sawn timber are piled atop the primary support structure. The exterior walls were prefabricated and feature vertical sheathing and open joints, allowing air to enter without creating a draft. The office perches like a pulpit above the space, affording a view of the entire stable. In contrast to conventional stables with prefabricated metal doors that often seem stuck onto the building, here the doors have also been made of timber in keeping with the theme of the building.  Altogether an exemplary teaching farm whose design has set new standards for high-quality agricultural buildings.

Team
  • Project Leader
    Martin Zerlauth
  • Colleague
    Planungsteam der LWK und ABB (Weratschnig, Küng)
    Martin Rümmele
  • Cost Planning
    Bmst. Gerold Hämmerle
  • Building Site Manager
    Ing. Herbert Reimann (Landeshochbauamt)
  • Builder-Owner
    Land Vorarlberg

    Location
    Hohenems

    Completion
    2006

    Project facts
    n.b.ar. 1462 m², GFA 1625 m²,
    GBV 9830 m³

    Project Phases
    Single Family House
    Cow Shed
    Cool Storage

    Rights
    Text Otto Kapfinger "Hermann Kaufmann Wood Works"
    Photo Bruno Klomfar

    • Structural Engineering
      merz kaufmann partner GmbH, Dornbirn
    • Heating Ventilation and Sanitary Planning
      Techn. Büro Ing. Stefan Ammann, Bregenz
    • Electronics Planning
      Techn. Büro Manfred Seewald, Mäder
    • Geotechnical Engineering
      Plankel, Pelzl & Partner, Lauterach


    Documents
    Data Sheet | Plans
    Project Details
    Public
      Awards
    • Konstruktiv
      2011 (Nominierung)
      Publications
    • Bauen und Landwirtschaft
      ZN Z-148, Konstruktiv, Jänner/Februar 2008
    • Artgerechtigkeit – Rheinhof Stall
      ZN Z-161, Holzbaumagazin 2008, S. 78-81
    • Rheinhof Stall – Kathedrale für die Kuh
      ZN Z-190, Hochparterre Nr. 4/2011, S. 26 "Beilage Liechtenstein-Preis"