text project list
description refuge and restaurant on a lake, international competition entry
category Public, Hospitality
location Graz, Austria
built area 1.230 m²
Design Team

Stephan Buerger, Demetra Katsota, Marios Botis, Savvas Kakalis


Taras Diachun

client GBG Gebäude- und Baumanagement Graz GmbH
design year 2020
completion year

The new restaurant and cafe building in an attractive natural surrounding on lake Thaler in the greater vicinity of Graz, AT is designed to become a popular all year long destination easily reachable by bike and on foot.

The proposed scheme is initiated by the re-design of the lake’s shoreline and its dam in order to establish a new public plateau. This new panorama level is integrated with the existing biking and footpath network and the natural topography. Generous terraces and cascading decks allow for various outdoor activities and access to the waterbody.

The building itself is designed as a refuge within the landscape and as a vessel for the enjoyment of the natural surroundings. Its architecture is direct, contemporary and responsive to the rural context devoid of nostalgic rhetoric. The building presents itself as a delicately folded cantilevering roof in the landscape. The rectilinear 58m long pitched roof volume bridges the northern bay of the lake and shelters below the shadow of the low-lying eave a programmatic recluse. In plan, in-between three offset solid enclosures, two voids -the entrance and the café’s sitting area- allow for the seamless connection to the outside. A narrow 13m long bar fronting the kitchen enclosure, connects the entrance and the café sitting area opening fully, through its retractable glazing, onto the cascading plateau and the spectacular views towards the lake. The double height sitting area is easily divisible with a movable curtain while the open fireplace accentuates the sense of refuge. Through the entrance, a main staircase connects the upper and lower levels of the building. The upper level functions as an independent hostel offering 8 double bedroom units while the lower level accommodates all required by the brief facilities for biking, hiking, boating, ice skating, as well as storage and mechanical areas.

The proposal’s material expression responds to clear environmental considerations. The external base as well as the ground floor volumes are prescribed in exposed concrete, in contrast to the protected timber surfaces of the first-floor slab and the exposed roof structure. For the roofing, the anodized aluminium panels above, in combination with the expressed structural rhythm of the timber rafters below will reflect the ever changing colour nuances of the surrounding landscape.

Title Year Type Locaction Country
STUDENT STUDIOS PATRAS 2007 Residential Patras Greece
LANDHOTEL SILVESTAR 2016 Hospitality Motovun Croatia
K314 OFFICE BUILDING 2021 Offices Athens Greece
ROLLING GREENS - VILLAS B 2019 Hospitality, Residential Messinia Greece
HOUSE E 2016 Residential Artemida Greece
RADISSON RESORT SKIATHOS 2020 Hospitality Skiathos Greece
HOUSES A·2 2015 Residential, Hospitality Paros Greece
ROLLING GREENS - VILLAS A 2019 Hospitality, Residential Messinia Greece
ONE ATHENS APARTMENT 2021 Residential Athens Greece
ANNENHEIM CUBES 2012 Residential, Hospitality Annenheim Austria
RESTAURANT THALERSEE 2020 Public, Hospitality Graz Austria
STUDENT STUDIOS THESSALONIKI 2016 Residential Thessaloniki Greece
HOUSE H 2012 Residential Corfu Greece
BELGIAN EMBASSY ATHENS 2008 Public Athens Greece
VILLA S 2006 Residential Vienna Austria
OKZT OFFICES & APARTMENTS 2019 Offices Klagenfurt Austria
HOUSE A+B 2008 Residential Paros Greece
MAYRHOFEN STATION 2018 Public Mayrhofen Austria
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY GRAZ 2015 Public Graz Austria
PENINSULA 2019 Residential, Hospitality Paros Greece
VILLA W1 2008 Residential Corfu Greece
APARTMENT BUILDING STD3 2022 Residential Athens Greece
CING LABORATORY BUILDING 2018 Public Nicosia Cyprus
FERANT GARDEN APARTMENT 2018 Residential Ljublijana Slovenia
SCHLOSSMUSEUM LINZ 2006 Public Linz Austria
THREE SPACES 2013 Exhibition Athens Greece
KUBAN RIVERSIDE HOTEL 2013 Hospitality Krasnodar Russia
AS IF 2014 Research, Exhibition Venice Italy
COOP BANK HEADQUARTERS 2012 Commercial, Offices Nicosia Cyprus
6 VOIDS: PXATHENS 2012 Exhibition Venice Italy
LARNACA AGORA 2011 Public Larnaca Cyprus
HOUSE B 2014 Residential Chania Greece
RATHAUSPARK PAVILION 2009 Public Vienna Austria
PX ATHENS 2012 Public, Masterplan Athens Greece
PX THREE CORNERS 2012 Public Athens Greece
HOUSE L 2016 Residential, Research Antiparos Greece
PX SIX THRESHOLDS 2012 Public Athens Greece
DASOUPOLI HIGH SCHOOL 2010 Public Nicosia Cyprus
CASPIAN SEA RESORT 2012 Masterplan Baku Azerbaijan
HOUSE T 2016 Residential Antiparos Greece
FERLACH TECHNICAL SCHOOL 2016 Public Ferlach Austria
OFFICE A 2009 Offices Athens Greece
CAUCASUS CONFERENCE CENTRE 2012 Public Qabala Azerbaijan
SUPERSTORE V 2008 Commercial Athens Greece
KYRIAZI DEVELOPMENT 2008 Commercial, Residential Kifisia Greece
KURA CULTURAL CENTRE 2013 Public Mingacevir Azerbaijan
CLDC HOUSING 2020 Residential Larnaca Cyprus
NOVARA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2018 Public, Educational Vienna Austria
APARTMENT BUILDING DP30 2021 Residential Athens Greece