Ⓒ 2013 © Thomas Salvato
Wood construction & Facades

Supermarket: Super beautiful and wood

© Kathrin Binder
© Kathrin Binder
© Kathrin Binder
© Kathrin Binder
© Kathrin Binder
© Archiv ventira.architekten

MPREIS supermarkets are more than a shopping facility among many. They are a piece of culture and identity. There is barely a resident of Tyrol who is not aware of the history of the Therese Mölk, who as a tough founder had nothing left after the First World War and yet laid the foundation stone for a prosperous company. Added to this: with ten children all of whom jointed the company. In the meantime, her first shop in Innsbruck is a cultural hotspot, initiated by her granddaughter. It would, anyway, no longer be suitable for a MPREIS supermarket, since they are all unique architectonic "Gustostückerl" (Highlights), unique in the sense of the company and constructed according to the natural ambience. One of them: the MPREIS in Schönwies, designed by the architecture ventira.architekten.

Mountain backdrop all around 

"The plot of land for the MPREIS supermarket in Schönwies lies in the middle of the inn valley of the uplands in Tyrol and is characterized all around by a mountain backdrop", narrates the architect, Wolfgang Juen. In the east, the Tschirgantmassiv dominates and in the west the view opens itself to Kronburg at Zams. The building is surrounded by agricultural fields and barns, and the Inn flows past nearby, "with all the dangers of its flood water", as Wolfgang Juen puts it. Thus, that was the initial situation for him and his partner Felicitas Wolf. He who now thinks that the initial situation has no role to play, since all supermarkets of a particular chain appear to be similar to one another, is clearly making a mistake in this case.
MPREIS is consciously taking another path. "Our trademark is the diversity of architectonic design vocabulary. Each market is devised for the specific location and yet identifiable as MPREIS. We have already worked together with over 40 architects who understand these requirements as a stimulus to develop something new time and again", is what the company has to say. "Particularly in a country that is dominated by such a diversity of scenic specialities, cultural traditions and dialects, there is naturally a great responsibility towards these circumstances."

Mountain silhouette and the barn look

In which "form" – in the literal sense – have the ventira.architects now assumed this responsibility? They designed an elongated structural shell that rests on a concrete base. The height of the base is oriented towards the flood water level of the last 100 years and forms the constructional protection in front of it. A wooden element construction rests on this solid foundation with a double-pitched roof that assumes the shape and silhouette of the massif. Company executing the project: AT Thurnerbau based in Imst nearby.

In colour and material, the facade corresponds with the traditional barn buildings in the neighbourhood. In material, since the rough larch as sawn is a typical material in Tyrol. In colour, since the trendy glaze finish Pullex Silverwood in grey aluminium colour shade lends the impression of the naturally greyed barn to the wood in a perfect manner. It penetrates deeply into the wood – which works particularly well with the rough sawn variant – and shares its liveliness with it. Nonetheless, the natural greying takes place but regularly, without spots and damage. In this way, the wood remains optically completely natural and is yet, above all, protected against damage caused by weathering, fungus, bluing and insects. "We have opted for wood and this coating since it is ecological and sustainable, facilitates a short time period for construction and the building merges so subtly into the natural space", explains Wolfgang Juen.
The design becomes perfect thanks to a beautiful detail on the facade: The recessed flowers awaken in the beholder the auspicious memories of blossoming green meadows as they would be found on the slopes of the mountains that form the backdrop of the building. Shopping cannot be more enjoyable and beautiful than this.

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