Merging with Nature
Sculpture in the landscape - Echternach
Lakeside restaurant is located within the sprawling natural oasis of Echternach on the fringe of Luxembourg’s oldest city and the German border. It is in the heart of the Sauer Valley and the centrepiece of 375 hectares of forest and a recreational wilderness, which attracts thousands of local and international visitors annually. The restaurant was designed to be a central meeting place while blending seamlessly into the natural landscape.
It is nestled into the green folds at the lake’s northern edge and semi-submerged into the hillside to form an unobtrusive sculpture overlooking the shoreline. It is comprised of two distinct elements; a monumental staircase that forms part of its external envelope and an elegant glazed cube that contains the restaurant.
The staircase acts as a conduit of movement between the lake’s edge and a higher recreational plateau, which draws visitors onto a rooftop platform and a calm vantage to one of the best views of the lake. The staircase also operates as a meeting place and an amphitheatre for concerts and events during the summer months.
The restaurant below is encased in high bay windows on three sides while the rear of the building is cut out from the ground and plunged into the hillside. It contains a dining room, bar, hot and cold kitchen, several storage spaces and public toilets, which are accessible independently from the outside. With more than 60 seats and a 150m² terrace facing the lake, it is a purposefully adaptable and open space that engages with its environment.
Within the restaurant, there exists a tension between the urge to shelter and protect and the desire to provide a fantastic view. This contradiction is resolved through creating a place of both refuge and prospect by making a building that is solid behind and transparent in front. This focused opening towards the lake creates an expansive panoramic view that is further accentuated by a long slender roof profile that draws the eye out into the landscape.
Lakeside harbours a textural aesthetic inspired by the site with an abundance of natural and raw materials used in its construction.
A key desire of this project was to respect the natural identity of the place.
Grey gravel stones used underfoot echo riverbed shingles while natural stone and wood fixtures resemble surrounding woodlands. These complimentary elements add texture and richness that connects the restaurant from the water’s edge to the verge of the forest.
Lakeside restaurant is not only a place to eat but a natural landscape for people. It is a seamless addition to the recreational fabric of the area and has become an integrated part of the lake experience.