Heinze Award 2015 Shortlist

Recognition: Silver Fir Prize 2013

Award: Exemplary Building 2016 FDS / CW

Valley station

Gastronomy and Segway rental in Sankenbachtal

The valley station was designed as a sports equipment rental, bistro and reception building for the planned WaldLoft Hotel, a unique tree hotel that will be built on the Stöckerkopf in Baiersbronn in the coming years. The look of the valley station is heavily influenced by the scenic location between Sankenbach and the road. Driving in a southwest direction from Baiersbronn, the Sankenbachtal opens up and the valley station is situated on a lush meadow. As with a stone or a piece of driftwood, the surrounding area seems to have left its mark on the building. The building is wide open toward the south. A recessed mullion and transom facade has created space for a roofed terrace. The fully glazed window facade offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Sankenbach valley and will later include the WaldLoft Hotel which, at 770 metres, will be situated 220 metres higher.

Organisational structure

The valley station currently serves two main functions: First of all, it is a starting point for Segway tours, hikes and walks, which is why a sports equipment rental service has been integrated into the building; secondly, it houses a bistro serving regional Black Forest cuisine. Although the sports equipment rental and restaurant are separated by the sanitary facilities and the valley station’s service centre, the spatial structure still flows well. The bicycle and Segway rental service is located in narrower section of the building on the right, and a small workshop has also been added to the rear. The dining area, which features an open counter, was accommodated in the larger section of the building on the left and will later serve as a reception area for the guests of the WaldLoft Hotel. All the building services and storage capacities were placed in the building’s attic, which reduced the excavation work to a minimum.


The ambience and interior of the Black Forest bistro are extremely modest, rustic and simple. The split-wood sliding shutters create an exciting play of light and shadow in the guest area. Since the plan only included smooth and hard surfaces, the team of architects also developed a special acoustic concept: A pattern of holes was cut into the three-layer spruce ceiling panels, floating like a cloud above the guest room. Behind the panels, a felted material absorbs the sound and reduces the reverb in the room.


  • Client: Privat
  • Typology: Gastronomy
  • City: Baiersbronn, Deutschland
  • GFA: 220 m²
  • Completion: 2012
  • Construction phases: LPH 1-9
  • Architects: Partner und Partner Architekten
  • Team: Klaus Günter, Jörg Finkbeiner, Christian Necker
  • Structural engineering: Ziegert | Seiler Ingenieure
  • Photos: Klaus Günter, Ulrike Klumpp

Cradle To Cradle-Kompass

  • Materials/Resources
  • Energy Supply
  • Water Management
  • Maintenance
  • Social Values
  • Diversity


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