Innsbruck is famous for its medieval pedestrian area in the City Centre, which surrounds the “Goldene Dachl” – you will not find to many tourists, that leave Innsbruck without a picture in front of this landmark taken. But there is also a different Innsbruck – places where you can see modern architecture, created by some of the most famous Architects in the world. I would like to point out the five most important buildings to see – most of them do not only offer great architecture, but also unique sights to the mountains and the city.
1. Berg Isel Ski Jump
The Berg Isel is well known as it hosted the opening ceremony of two Olympic Winter Games – above it sits the huge Berg Isel Ski Jump. This was completely rebuild in 2001/2002. It was planned by Star Architect Zaha Hadid. The Jump can be seen from a lot of places in the City and you will see, that it has lights that change colors on, during the night. On top of the Ski Jump there is a panoramic restaurant and a viewing platform – they allow great views towards Innsbruck and the mountains behind it on one side, and to the Vipptal (direction towards Brenner) on the other side.
2. Town Hall
Architect Dominic Perrault planned the new town hall, which was built between 1996 and 2002. This town hall is more than just a community building – it features shopping arcades, restaurants, a hotel and offices. Its roofs are partly made of glass, therefore it opens itself to the City. There are especially great views from the two restaurants on top of two Glass towers – the Lichtblick (restaurant) and the 360° (a bar)
3. Kaufhaus Tyrol
Opposite of the Town Hall, you find the Kaufhaus Tyrol. Its Innsbrucks newest architectural gem. This shopping mall once had a great history, but it lost more and more of it charm and wore down. Now it was completely rebuild – after plans made by David Chipperfield. The main facade was made of glass and concrete elements with white cement and marble. The main hall is illuminated from above by daylight. The different levels of the shopping centre are connected by bridges and elevators which cross the open space. In front of the Kaufhaus Tyrol there is the Maria Theresien Strasse – the historic main street of Innsbruck, which was re-designed in recent years, too.
4. Adambräu Brew House
The Adambräu Brew House is an interesting point to visit for architectural fans for two reasons. Firstly it was adapted to its new use, by a group of Austrian architects (Rainer Köberl, Thomas Giner, Erich Wucher, Andreas Pfeifer) in an excellent way. Secondly the new use is, to house the Tyrolean Architectural Institute (AUT) and the University archive for architecture.
5. Innsbrucker Cable Railways
Behind Innsbruck there tower the massive mountains of the “Nordkette” which are about 2.300 high. There runs a cable car from the City Centre to the top of this mountains. This trip is not only providing you with stunning views onto Innsbruck, but also gives you the change to enjoy some of the most beautiful mountains of Tyrol. On the “backside” of the Mountains is a Nature Preservation Area, so you will have the City on one side, and absolutely no human civilization on the other.
For architecture Fans the Cable Car itself is an important view – it was build after plans of Zaha Hadid. Every station on the way up, has its on design. It takes about 20 minutes to get from Innsbruck to the top of the mountains, but Architecture Fans might want to consider, to visit the stations on the way up (and therefore invest some more time).
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