A touch of exposed concrete. Light, air, water, wind and weather. These impressions formed the background for the design of the Rohner Port Building in Fussach: a bird standing in the water, perched on one leg, searching its prey, determined not to get wet. Sail boats on the lake, whose hulls can barely be seen. This building too stands on a slender leg; it doesn't want to get wet on terrain that will be flooded in the case of high water. Therefore, everything takes place upstairs, on the upper level where a cement shaft projects forward over 8 metres. It is clad with glass in the back and in the front, facing the lake. It defies gravity, like a sail in the wind.
The Rohner harbor office building in Fussach, designed by Baumschlager Eberle, is a fascinating steel, glass and concrete configuration that appears to float in mid-air, echoing the form of a space capsule or a bird standing on one leg. Awkwardly elegant, the precisely designed building is composed of an eight-meter-long container-shaped shell of concrete that connects with the ground below by only a single slim footing. The interior of the shell is lined with larchwood paneling, creating an inner tension that dissolves at both ends of the building as it opens out into floor-to-ceiling glass windows that face Lake Constance at one end and the inland countryside at the other. This avian, spaceship-like building is nevertheless characterized by the very earthly features of an open structure, clear lines and uncompromising simplicity.
Baumschlager & Eberle