New Grawa Observatory along the WildeWasserWeg
Last updated on 03.07.2019
The newly built structure at Grawa Waterfall in the Stubai Valley impresses with its architecture while blending perfectly into the landscape.
The WildeWasserWeg is the number one summer attraction to visit in the Stubai Valley. The Grawa waterfall, the heart and origin of the trail, is especially attractive. Many people also like to visit the widest waterfall in the Eastern Alps to enjoy the soothing effect of its fine spray. A specially built platform at the foot of the impressive natural spectacle enables visitors to comfortably indulge in its therapeutic effect. Unfortunately, it was so badly damaged during a storm in the summer of 2017 that a new one had to be built. The extensive project was completed in just under two years, and now the new Grawa Observatory a novel attraction along the WildeWasserWeg. It is almost in the same place as before and is barrier-free. An architectural highlight, it blends perfectly into the landscape while seeming to transfer the flowing movement of the water onto its surroundings.
After being hit by a severe storm in August 2017, sections of the WildeWasserWeg had to be renovated and repaired. Though much of the damage was quickly repaired and the trail was soon in use again, the damaged platform at the Grawa waterfall had to be completely rebuilt in the end. Restoring the platform to make it accessible and barrier-free, capable of withstanding large volumes of water, and to fit it into the landscape required highly detailed planning that included feasibility studies, expert opinions, approval procedures, and selecting the right partners. The project began in 2018.
From the start of the 2019 summer season on, when the new structure, the Grawa Obsercvatory, is fully completed also with the comfortable wooden loungers on it, visitors will have again the opportunity to relax on the platform and enjoy the healthy impact of the waterfall to its fullest.
Although the new Grawa Observatory is based on the old structure, its wave-like design is reminiscent of glacier moraine deposits, which have been left in the form of stairs. It harmonises with the landscape and calms the spectacularly falling glacier water thanks to the flowing form of the balustrade, while seemingly passing the movement of the water on to the surroundings. The Observatory not only allows visitors to extend their stay at the soothing waterfall, but also forms a bridge that crosses the front part of the structure and can be accessed from two sides. It includes an open space for visitors to take photographs and catch their breath. The rear part consists of four levels for sitting and stretching out. The uppermost level – 180 cm above the access level – deliberately does without loungers in order to ensure a smooth flow of visitors. To ensure both the best possible view and a sense of safety, the full-surface balustrades stand 65 cm high. A custom-made iron railing above it protects visitors from falling. The entire Grawa Observatory is barrier-free, making it ideal for visitors with prams and wheelchairs.
Local partners were commissioned with all the construction work involved. The official opening ceremony for the new Grawa Observatory at the Grawa Waterfall is scheduled for 7 July 2019.