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Café at the lake & Grottos

The »Café am See«, or Café at the lake, is an outstanding example of architecture that relates directly to its surroundings. The executing architect Engelbert Kremser was a passionate representative of organic architecture and inventor of the so-called earth construction method, which does not construct buildings classically from bottom to top, but inverts them from a natural material. For the »Café am See«, a mound of earth about 8 metres high was piled up, which was formed according to Kremser’s ideas and then concreted. After the concrete had set, the earth was removed again through the recessed windows and doorways. The interior is 270 square metres in size and is framed by large window arches reaching down to the floor.

Next to this building, which is bizarre in the best sense of the word, are the so-called »grottos«, which are obviously from the same pen. For the 44-metre long caves, 20 supports were initially erected, between which a roof was modelled from sand, which was then concreted. On the grottos, whose arrangement resumes the shoreline of the lake, earth was piled up again and designed as a garden area. As such natural formations, the grottos reconcile the architecture of the café ensemble with the surrounding nature.

Further information about the gastronomic operation of the »Britzer Seeterrassen« opened in 2015 in the »Café am See« can be found on the gastronomy page.