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Umgang Bezau/Reuthe

Umgang Bezau/Reuthe

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Umgang - Village Bezau/Reuthe

Bezau with its county court, notary’s office and various schools, shops, workshops and eateries, forms one of the region’s centres. Reuthe: Alongside industrial plants for processing wood, the neighbouring village of Reuthe is also home to the oldest church in the Hinterwald as well as the Gesundhotel Bad Reuthe.

Bezau is also home to a local history museum, where visitors can find out lots about the rural way of life.

The health-orientated hotel Gesudnhotel Bad Reuthe in Reuthe uses two naturally occurring cure treatments: medicinal mud and a chalybeate spring. The meadows around the villages, such as you’d see on a ramble along the Grebenbach, reveal a number of typical barns as they characterised the whole of the Bregenzerwald in earlier days.

1. Hotel Gams

1. Hotel Gams

What could convince someone to stay in the Hotel Gams in Bezau of all places, whatever the weather or season? Good question! It led to a vision and a clear concept of the hotel. The idea is to give guests the feeling that they can completely abandon themselves to a person they love for the duration of their stay. In the Gams, “time together" means spending time with each other in an ambience that stimulates the imagination … The hotel’s interior furnishings, with their sheer splendour, are geared up to promote precisely this!

Architect: Architekturbüro AT7

2. Haus F.

The architects placed this house in the landscape such that it compacted the buildings around it into a hamlet. Standing at a right angle to the neighbouring Bregenzerwald house, its long side faces the midday sun. Its position on a slope enables entrance at ground level. At the same time, it provides a view of the neighbouring house from the top floor. Counting the semibasement which is accessible at ground level, the house counts three storeys in all. As compact as a farmhouse, a smooth wooden façade plus ribbon windows and recessed balconies – like a new version of the traditional utility space – give it an undeniably modern look.

Architects: Dietrich | Untertrifaller

2. Haus F.
3. Hay barn on the Grebenbach

3. Hay barn on the Grebenbach

Agricultural buildings used for storage purposes are usually built on the spot where they are needed. The same is true of this small hay barn, known as “Stadel” in the Bregenzerwald. It is also used for storing tools such as hay-drying racks, those wooden racks which were used in earlier days to dry the hay in the sun. And the hay itself before it is taken to the barn (also known as “Stadel”). This type of building comprises simple wooden beams with boarding and a roof. Once upon a time, barns were built on the fields without a foundation of stone or concrete. And they usually survived longer than the people they served!

4. Reuthe Church

The modern layout of the church – mentioned as a wooden chapel in a document from 1250 and rebuilt from stone in 1284 – goes back to 1419. It was enlarged back then, and a presbytery and frescoes to fill the walls were added. It took a long process of renovation work to uncover that which is now visible. Conversions which have taken place since the 1960s resulted in the lengthening of the nave, in the reintroduction of wooden elements in the ceiling and floor, and in the installation of a new organ (in 2002). A free-standing versus populum altar according to specifications by the Vatican has also been added.

4. Reuthe Church
5. Reuthe mortuary chapel

5. Reuthe mortuary chapel

The construction of the mortuary chapel in 1995 was preceded by a long search for the right location. Now it lies at the same level as the cemetery, high above the valley, just a few metres below the church. The restricted space led to the cemetery being lengthened somewhat, and the chapel being built into the mountain, beneath the former dance hall. Its roof lies flush with the old wall made of natural stone. A wall stands three metres in front of the structure at a slight angle, with a glass wall in between to illuminate the room. The exposed concrete has been dyed black. The concealed joints give it the character of masonry, similar to the adjacent dark stone wall.

Architect: Hermann Kaufmann, 1995

6. Gesundhotel Bad Reuthe

The name “Bad Reuthe” itself indicates a health spa. The special feature of this hotel is the natural mud which is freshly extracted right next to the hotel. The valuable material is used for baths and packs. These treatments are particularly effective for the back, the musculature and joints. The Gesundhotel “Bad Reuthe” – which has been around for 250 years – concentrates on providing its guests holistic health for body, soul and mind. Guests enjoy a feeling of utter well-being in the spacious bathing complex, with its sauna wellness world.

Architects: Bernd Frick & Hermann Kaufmann, 2005

6. Gesundhotel Bad Reuthe
7. Haus S.

7. Haus S.

The extent to which modern architecture relates to already existing structures is clear from this office building with a flat roof – also known as a bungalow. It was the client’s wish for the office wing to seamlessly connect to the garage and the pergola of the house where he lives. Despite the gable roof, the house itself appeared excitingly modern 40 years ago. The new office wing was built in the so-called “system construction” method in 1999. It comprises standardised wood panels on a square beam frame – prefabricated in the factory and assembled on the construction site. The advantages are a high degree of precision and an extremely short time required for construction.

Architects: Team Oskar Leo Kaufmann, Johannes Kaufmann & Michael Kaufmann

8. Local history museum

The most important room in a Bregenzerwald house is the parlour. Originally, man and beast lived here side by side. Eventually, the livestock was moved to the animal barn. In addition to functioning as a lounge, the parlour also turned into room of representation. This resulted in the development of a strict way of arranging the furnishings and fittings. Ceilings and walls were panelled using square wood panels. The fittings and furnishings followed the principle of diagonals: the stove stood in the inner parlour corner, with the domestic shrine with corner seating and table located in the outer corner opposite it. Next to the door was the parlour cabinet, directly opposite which were the settee and wall clock, next to the bedroom door.

8. Local history museum
9. Social centre

9. Social centre

With the disintegration of the traditional extended family, people reliant on help end up in the care of the community: old people who can no longer be cared for at home, children with working parents, and people with disabilities. So-called social centres are built for such people. This one has 32 single rooms, common rooms, a dining room, a large kitchen, therapy rooms, a chapel, storage rooms, offices and a crèche. The single rooms face outside, with the shared facilities being grouped around the courtyard.

Architects: Broger, Heil, Federspiel & Metzler Ohneberg

10. Bus shelter

Modern wooden buildings are frequently made from several materials. Their objective is to support the wood where they achieve a better effect. This also applies to the roof of the bus shelter. Restrained steel supports support two wooden gluelaminated girders, i.e. beams made from boards glued together. They are affixed to the wooden ribs via wooden steel toes. Wooden boards are located on top, forming the flat roof. It has openings for a few trees. These serve as a reminder of those horse chestnut trees which had to make way for the bus shelter.

Architect: Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH

10. Bus shelter
11. Hotel Post

11. Hotel Post

The operators of the Hotel Post consider themselves in harmony with nature, and have a high awareness of what quality means. In the design of the hotel as well as in their care of the guests, they apply both tradition and innovation, and continually search for new connections between sustainability, comfort and modernity. In addition to 54 rooms and four suites, the hotel boasts a wellness bathhouse, an award-winning spa and a gourmet restaurant.

Architects: Leopold Kaufmann & Oskar Leo Kaufmann

12. Education centre “Kloster”

The “utilisation rate” of the only monastery in the Bregenzerwald was in decline. The decision was therefore taken in the mid-1980s to find a new use for it. The residence of the Franciscans was renovated and rooms for holding seminars and events in the community were added. The courtyard of the former cloister was given a roof, and was turned into a multi-purpose hall. The architect designed a roof which, unlike the rest of the building, stands on six pillars. This enables light to enter the courtyard, brightening up this newly created room. The former courtyard façades now function as its walls.

Architect: Leopold Kaufmann

12. Education centre “Kloster”
Umgang Infomedien © Adolf Bereuter / Bregenzerwald Tourismus

Book & Folder

Details of the objects are described in an accompanying folder. Furthermore, a book on the subject containing the background histories to the way of life in the Bregenzerwald is available. The information media are available from any one of the tourist information offices and from Bregenzerwald Tourismus.

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