Ibexmuseum St. Leonhard
Up on a wooded mountainside, you see a reddish building, somehow appearing like a small castle. It is the „Ibexmuseum St.Leonhard“.
In a narrow valley in the Austrian alps it was decided to build a small museum to tell the story of the extermination and the process of reintroduction of the ibex in this region. The indoor exhibition is completed with an outdoor enclosure for seven ibexes.
Right next to one of the oldest farmhouses of the valley, with nearly the same footprint of the old barn which was standing there, a towerlike building has been constructed in precast concrete, where the lower parts are quoting the wooden surface of the barn.
A striking red steel bridge connects the third floor of the tower with the slope aside, on which you reach the enclosure of the ibex.
A clear tower-like building representing a landmark has its reason in the site, which is visible from the small village below.
Its compactness, the position and the concrete façade with a formwork of rough wooden boards, could be seen as a memory of the old barn.
The fact that all elements of this in- and outdoor „exhibition“ are spread on a steep slope, and should be accessible for old and physically disabled people or visitors with baby buggies, was also one of the reasons, which led to the perhaps unique solution of a vertical organized museum, where visitors walk through, from the bottom until the top and across a bridge into the nature. The museum literally helps “climbing the mountains” to see the ibex “face to face”.
In strong contrast to the old farmhouse the new building is constructed in reinforced concrete, with prefabricated concrete elements as facade. The strong connection to the walkable slope is made visible from far away by the red colored balustrade of the viewingterrace and the straight bridge made of steel, piercing the massive shell.
In the exhibitionspace, colored similar to the outside, red steel framed windows create views into the sourroundings like landscape paintings on the wall. The café is the only space paneled in wood. Local pine wood creates a cosy atmosphere.