TreeHugger, the new Tourist Information Office in Bressanone
In order to relaunch the area just outside the historical centre of Bressanone, MoDus Architects studio has designed the new TreeHugger Tourist Information Office of the South Tyrolean city, taking on the qualities of airiness and levity in alignment with the site’s antecedent structures with their respective features of slender columns, deep loggias, and delicate overhangs.
The project raises its body on tiptoe and frees up the ground level to give it over to the city as a public space, while new visual connections are made, not only to the main building of the adjacent Bishop’s Palace but also to the ancillary Chinese and Japanese pavilions that mark the corners of the Palace gardens.
The site is characterized by an existing monumental tree that governs the design and underlines the connection between nature and edifice: with the tree trunk as the fulcrum, five arched spans release the building from the ground, accompanying the tree upwards to draw an open frame around the tree’s crown.
Moreover, the curvature of the walls, together with the floor slabs form a collaborative composition in which the form, the structure, and the building facades become one.
The building is almost entirely glazed on the ground floor, which houses the public spaces and info booths, to allow maximum transparency and permeability: the entrance is clearly marked by the inset windows and the large overhang that cantilevers out towards the new square, while the upper floor, housing the administrative offices, is closed and enigmatic in the sequence of its convex surfaces.
With its welcoming curves balanced by the decisive concrete tectonic, TreeHugger strikes up a conversation with its historical context, becoming a significant gateway of the city.
Photography is by Oskar Da Riz.