Museum Inatura, Dornbirn (AT)
New building, Continue building

Client: FM Hämmerle Holding AG, Stadt Dornbirn
Location: A-6850 Dornbirn, Jahngasse 9
Architecture: Dietrich Untertrifaller witht Kaufmann/Lenz
Construction: 2001 – 2003
Area: 4,600 m²
Programme: New buildings and extensions to former hammer mill, new offices, café, museum shop

Photos: Bruno Klomfar, Petra Rainer (1)

Stefan Hiebeler, Thomas Weber (Project management)

Construction management: Hassler, Dornbirn
Statics: Pfefferkorn, Dornbirn
Museum design: rwdp, London
Building services: Moser, Satteins
Electrics: Meusberger, Bezau
Landscape: Rotzler Krebs, Winterthur


  • BTV Bauherrenpreis, Award
  • ZV Bauherrenpreis, Award

From the hammer mill to a nature show experience

A former hammer mill from the 19th century was turned into a natural history museum and urban garden after it was closed down. We have added new buildings and extensions to the remaining historical parts with great sensitivity, taking up the industrial character of the existing building and interpreting it in a contemporary form. The project on the Rüsch-Werke site successfully represents the combination of modern architecture with historical buildings and the transition of an industrial site to public use as a museum and urban garden.

To ensure that the premises meet the requirements of a modern museum operation, we have constructed several new buildings and extensions to the existing buildings: Technology and storage rooms and offices at the turnery, a demonstration hall between the turnery and foundries, offices and exhibition areas at the new foundry. The industrial character of the existing buildings is reflected, among other things, in the Corten steel of the external facades.

Research as an adventure

The two foundry halls, which stand at right angles to each other, have been cleared out and extended into the basement. A wide range of topics relating to nature and technology are presented here on and below free-standing platforms.

Organisation on several levels

The interior design makes use of the large rooms, but is organised independently on several levels. The ticket office, café and museum shop are located in a spacious foyer in the former turning shop. The tour begins on the upper floor and leads via the connecting cube to the former blast furnaces, which have been preserved as an industrial monument.

Stilted cube as a structural link

The former turning shop and foundry were connected so that visitors can access all areas of the exhibition with dry feet. An elevated cube on stilts and clad with pre-rusted steel plates between the two buildings now allows passage from the entrance hall to the exhibition area and also provides space for a film and lecture room.

The second extension houses the service rooms for the café. The biomass heating plant, also clad in Corten steel, is located at the front of the former turning shop.

Offices in the courtyard

The two new office buildings in the rear courtyard are linked to the old hall wings via a corridor. A textile cover spans the upper floor, which projects over the glazed ground floor. The printed pattern, greatly enlarged images of rust and lichen, enters into a subtle dialogue with its surroundings and at the same time merges visually with the Corten panels.

Impressions from the construction site

Floor plan L0
Floor plan L1

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