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Youthhostel Gerlos

year: 2021 | typologie: commercial | status: complete


@ Julian Höck

The building with 450 beds and 7500 m2 is situated in the heart of the Salzburg Alps, in the little village of “Hochkrimml”, which is known for its skiing. It is built on a slant leaning north to south, so that the building is woven into the landscape. The sport halls are located in the bottom half of the hostel & built into the slope of the mountain so that the building blends in with the surrounding landscape.

The main building is made from pure timber construction. The south-facing forecourt is surrounded on either side by building wings, which house additional rooms. These wings are built into the slant of the mountain & open into green “waves” that blend into the slope & can be used for sledding & other leisure activities.

Skizze / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml
Architektin / Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner
Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml
Architektin Christine Lechner / lechner & lechner /  Holzarchitektur / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml

The concept behind our design is connection. The building is designed in a way that users have a view axis into other areas & levels of the building, regardless of where they physically are. This allows for the sport areas to be visible at all times.The forecourt leads directly into the main entrance of the building. The lobby of the building is situated above two lower levels, which contain the sport halls, trampolines, a climbing wall, a boulder wall, a pump track, an indoor soccer field, table tennis & more. Each level of the building is connected by ramps. Between some levels, there are sitting areas with views of the landscape, as well as views of other parts of the building (i.e. climbing wall, the soccer field etc.). 

The above-ground part of the building, including the load-bearing elements, is made entirely of wood from the region. The only exceptions are the hanging construction of the ramp and the escape stairs. The wings are built into the landscape and have green roofs. The building itself is energy efficient, powered by photovoltaic modules and heated by a wood chip biomass power plant. The hotel has a partnership with a bus company. Transport to the building is included for private and school groups and is organized when you book your room. Therefore, there is almost no arrival by private transport.

Architektinn Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml / Architektur in den Alpen

On the ground floor there is the main entrance, lobby, the dining area that wraps around the forecourt, the climbing area, which extends over 3 levels. The rooms are located on levels 1 and 2. On the roof there is a lounge with a view of the nearby ski slopes and a sauna with a view of the valley.


The two lower floors of the building are aligned with the landscape so that users can look out into nature from both floors -1 and -2. Level -1: The area under the west wing is used for sports and leisure activities. Level -1 has a view of the sports hall one floor below (Level -2) and contains a viewing area that can be used as a standing or seating area for spectators. The area under the east wing is used for storage (skis or bicycles). This area is connected to the forecourt by a ramp.

Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml /
Architektin Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml
The youth hostel Gerlosplatte is located in the Salzburg Alps. It was planned by the architects Lechner & Lechner in Salzburg. The team included architect Christine Lechner, Horst Lechner, Paul Lechner and Lukas Ployer. It has received many awards for its architecture and is an example of rural architecture in Salzburg.

Most of the sports facilities are on level -2. The boulder wall and the start of the climbing wall are located here at the lower end of the ramp eye. Furthermore, the sports hall is located here, which is already visible from the ground floor through the air hole. There is also a pump track and trampoline as well as a schnitzel pit, which can be seen through several air holes from the entrance area on the ground floor.


There is also an indoor soccer field and a disco, which is acoustically decoupled from the rest of the hotel. Due to the falling terrain, the north side can be opened towards the landscape, so that level -2 is also flooded with light to a large extent.

Architektin Christine Lechner / Lechner & Lechner / Jugendgästehaus Gerlosplatte / Hochkrimml

The north side of the building is hidden behind a forest. Large window areas are placed next to the sports facilities in the -2 basement, on the one hand to give the body a formally floating appearance and, on the other hand, to bring generous daylight into the basement floors.


Towards the south, the village square opens up generously to visitors and conveys an inviting gesture. A horizontal area is created that is rare in the mountains and can be used in a variety of ways by visitors and locals. In the wings to the right and left are the dining rooms and a parlor, in which hikers and, in winter, skiers can end the day.

Architecture Salzburg
Architekturbüro Lechner & Lechner unter der Leitung von Christine Lechner / Architekten Salzburg



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