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Architecture

– From 1967 to 2019 –

ARCHITECTURE AT THE KOLLWENTZ ESTATE
 

Fifteen construction projects have been completed over the past fifty years at Weingut Kollwentz. Among other works, six traditional Burgenländer barns have been built, adorned with the distinctive gables that are so typical of the province. Two existing barns were renovated, while one was totally demolished and then faithfully rebuilt with a new cellar below.

Regardless of whether a wine-press house, storage space, office, tasting room, heating facility, wood-chip storage, intern living quarters or a machine & equipment shed, preservation of Burgenland’s regional architectonic identity has always remained in the foreground.

In this period, no new structure was ever built at the estate without a cellar. Here too a sign of long-term thinking: construction of new cellars is expensive due to the requisite precautionary measures that must be taken in our built-up area – but they offer long-term benefits through natural climate-control and more effective utilisation of available space.

 

By Roland Rainer from »Anonymes Bauen Nordburgenland« (‘Anonymous Construction in Northern Burgenland’), 1961

W hy do these communities – all constructed in a surprisingly similar fashion utilising the simplest of means – exert such a lasting effect and offer such a peculiar attraction, upon city dwellers especially; why they are so expressively appealing with their strictly-ordered squat, white houses on wide, uncluttered streets, which are simply experienced as part of the landscape, like they’re a outline of their sunny environment?

Why is it that more and more big-city dwellers imagine how calm and contentedly one would live here – while the residents themselves usually only smile when visitors are observed photographing their old houses, which they contemptuously call ‘antiquities’; visitors who would take the first available opportunity to erect a modern citified building of the most questionable sort to replace them with, and thus quickly and securely destroy the scale and atmosphere of the place with a single new structure?

 

W hy is one inclined to envy these people when they sit together in the evening on primitive stone benches in front of their courtyard walls, under the trees of the village street in a shared living environment, in a sheltering environment of human scale, in a simple environment, sober and clearly ordered – and especially a very tranquil one – which seems to be the exact opposite of today’s metropolitan life, this world we seek to escape on every occasion, on every weekend and every holiday. This world – noisy, unruly, chock-full of technical matters and complications of all kinds with its superimposed abundance of forms, colours and materials, without any visible and orderly connexion, lacking unity of expression, without common human scale – which continually acts more confusing and more threatening.

Contrasted with this oppressive abundance of impressions from an environment governed by enormity & mechanism & haste, the openness, calmness & simplicity, the clarity & recognisable regularity – the beneficial human scale – of the villages between Lake Neusiedl and the Leitha Range all seem like a liberation.

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