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House of Sustainability: Liechtenstein alumnus wins architectural competition

The winner of the Haus der Nachhaltigkeit [House of Sustainability] Competition for Architecture and Innovation, organised by the Liechtenstein municipality of Ruggell, is the project ‘einfach bauen’ [‘simple building’]. The design had been created by an interdisciplinary team led by Liechtenstein architect Ivan Cavegn, who completed his studies at what was then the Liechtenstein Technical College.


The winner of the Haus der Nachhaltigkeit [House of Sustainability] Competition for Architecture and Innovation, organised by the Liechtenstein municipality of Ruggell, is the project ‘einfach bauen’ [‘simple building’]. The design had been created by an interdisciplinary team led by Liechtenstein architect Ivan Cavegn, who completed his studies at what was then the Liechtenstein Technical College.



The idea was to build a House of Sustainability where the three countries of Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland meet, in the heart of the village of Ruggell, as a centre of activity with international resonance. The house will accommodate the offices of various organisations active in the cause of sustainable development, like environmental organisations and cultural institutions, as well as representatives of sustainable forms of industry. Tenants who have already signed up are the International Commission for Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) and the Liechtenstein Environmental Protection Association (LGU).


Wanted – an ‘all-round sustainable house’

The Stiftung für Nachhaltigkeit [Sustainability Foundation] was looking for a ‘sustainable self-sufficient house, energetically and ecologically innovative, with outstanding architecture’, as stated in the terms and conditions of the competition. The international jury was chaired by Köbi Gantenbein, Editor in Chief of the journal Hochparterre, and it included energy and ecology specialists, representatives of the project development company and the municipality of Ruggell, and distinguished architects from four different countries, including University of Liechtenstein lecturers Bernardo Bader and Denise Ospelt Strehlau. The jury singled out the project ‘einfach bauen’ [‘simple building’], the work of Ivan Cavegn Architects from Schaan, and has recommended it to the developers for further consideration. The planning team responsible for the project included the internationally famous clay building specialist Martin Rauch from Vorarlberg and University of Liechtenstein lecturer Christoph Ospelt, of the Schaan timber building and joinery firm Frommelt.



The winning project ‘einfach bauen’ [‘simple building’]: this is how the House of Sustainability created by architect Ivan Cavegn will look.


Archaic tradition meets exemplary innovation

Along with the quality to be expected of a municipal building, the project has come up with the required degree of innovation. A climatic zone will be created in the middle of the house, made up of a clay core weighing 160 tons, using clay excavated from local quarries. The clay will be built up in layers on a slab which likewise functions as a heat reservoir. The clay mass within and beneath the building stores thermal energy and releases it slowly, so that heating can practically be dispensed with. The timber contains carbon dioxide that has been stored up over many decades, and the natural materials used make it in every way an exemplary structure in terms of building biology. Largely consisting of wood and clay, the House of Sustainability represents a marriage of archaic tradition with contemporary building utilities and climate technology.


Saturday viewing of the projects in Ruggell

The winning project and the seven other projects submitted can be viewed next Saturday, 20 December, between 10 am and 3 pm at the Musikhaus in Ruggell. Representatives of the Sustainability Foundation and the Ruggell council will be on hand to answer questions about the project.  

Further information may be found at www.nachhaltigkeit.li.