Kultur Pavillon Semmering

Client: Kultur Sommer Semmering
Location: Grand Hotel Semmering, Lower Austria
Principal works: prefabricated, modular wooden units
Principal use: cultural events
Total floor area: 390m2 indoor, 600m2 outdoor
Year: 2022
Status: built
Design team: Mark Neuner, Christian Höhl

With panoramic views of the picturesque Semmering mountain backdrop, the concert hall, designed in modern minimalism, playfully blends into the surrounding forest landscape. Large panoramic windows offer a view over the forests almost as far as Vienna. Already in its first season, the Kulturpavillon has welcomed up to 380 guests.

Mark Neuner and Christian Höhl from Mostlikely Architecture, as well as the renowned timber construction company Obermayr, were commissioned to implement this vision in just four months.

Cultural Pavilion built in front of Grand Hotel Panhans ©Mostlikely Architecture


A fast and sustainable solution for the new venue:

Semmering is known for its summer resorts and historic Grand Hotels, which were established at the end of the 19th century. The Kultur.Sommer.Semmering continues this tradition and stages a sophisticated, two-month cultural festival in the mountains. In the winter of 2022 suddenly without a venue, a new venue was made possible with the Grandhotel Panhans. However, since the Panhans does not have sufficiently large halls, a new concert hall had to be completed in just four months from the time the commission was placed.


Design of the entrance ©Mostlikely Architecture
Pavilion and terrace situated in the mountains of Semmering ©Mostlikely Architecture


A mobile concert hall – flexible for change

The viewing plateau in front of the Grand Hotel Panhans was chosen as the new location for the pavilion – with the addition that the pavilion can only remain there temporarily. In addition to the scheduling challenge, there was also that of a mobile concert hall: in just two weeks, it should be possible to dismantle it in the future and set it up again at a different location. Against this background, Mostlikely Architecture developed the Culture Pavilion from large, prefabricated elements that could be quickly assembled on site. This allows the Cultural Pavilion to be adapted and expanded to meet the needs of future festival seasons.


Warm wood dominates the entrance design ©Mostlikely Architecture


Circular construction: single-grade prefabrication from regional wood

From the beginning, Mostlikely Architecture set high sustainability standards for the project, which also included the criteria of circular construction. Therefore, the decision was made to work with regional companies and to build the cultural pavilion entirely from local, certified wood. A total of around 75 tons of spruce and larch were processed, and the climate-damaging building materials concrete and steel could be avoided. The constructions are all deconstructible, the surfaces natural. The joints of the elements are solved by means of overlapping joints and cover strips or cover plates, so that these constructions can also be reused in the event of dismantling and reconstruction.

We also focused on sustainability in the air-conditioning system: a natural chimney effect was created by means of floor-level air vents in the facade and exhaust vents in the ceiling. Mechanical fans on the roof support this effect. In this way, the energy-intensive use of costly ventilation systems could be avoided with minimal resources.


©Mostlikely Architecture


Form follows sound

Following the vision of pianist and artistic director Florian Krumpöck, the pavilion was designed according to high sound-aesthetic standards: From the stage, the space opens up and, together with the wooden surfaces, allows for harmonious sound propagation and acoustics. Thus, the laws of spatial sound development meet the artistic design of Mostlikely Architecture. The power of reduction continues in the interior: light curtains, reduced technology and lighting puts the focus on the spatial qualities, the picturesque view and especially the artistic performances.

©Mostlikely Architecture


The power of reduction continues in the interior: light curtains, reduced technology and lighting puts the focus on spatial qualities, the picturesque mountain view, and the artistic performances. From the stage, the space opens up and, together with the wooden surfaces, allows for harmonious acoustics and sound propagation.


©Mostlikely Architecture
The atmosphere during an artistic performance ©Mostlikely Architecture