In the beginning it was bare, neglected and "without a face", the "Knappenhaus - Miners House" in a historic village alley in Colle Isarco. The substance was impressive: 70cm thick stone masonry, vaults, high rooms flooded with light and a wooden veranda as a winter garden.
A building that has housed a wide variety of people since the 16th century It was built by miners as a two-storey dwelling, later converted into a farmhouse, and then used as a four-storey building as a guest house during the golden ages of the village. Wealthy guests enjoyed their holidays in this Alpine village at the beginning of the 20th century. Even the military was accommodated here during the Second World War, as the village is located on the strategic north-south axis near the Brenner Pass. In the 60s, tourism still flourished. When this declined more and more in the 90s, the building was only partially inhabited.
It was important to the architects to give expression to this eventful history and to give life back not only technically, but also visually and architecturally: The massive balcony façade was replaced and the railing was fitted with curved balcony slats inspired by a historical photograph from the previous century. The discovered historical paintings in the interior showed a floral pattern with delicate shades of green and pink: the colour inspiration for the new façade design. The rhythmisation with different colour fields and the resulting divisions and contours of the perforated façade gave the building a new face along the street side.
In the Alpine region, it was tradition to do manual work at home during the cold winter months. For example, making crocheted doilies is also part of the cultural heritage. These were the inspiration for decorating the interiors: original painting stencils from the attic were used to give the parlour with its vaulted ceiling a new ceiling. The parlour again becomes the most important room for the family.
Furniture and textiles in warm red tones, harmony between historical built-in furniture and new elements create a cosy spatial impression in combination with the synthetic resin floor in soft pink.
Inside and outside, the power of colours is used in a targeted way, giving the building a completely new identity, a new self-confidence. At the same time, this is a small contribution to the revitalisation of an entire alley, the “Pfarrgasse”. Tradition is revived, thus creating something new and is the starting point for the next generations in the "Knappenhaus".