“The workshop must be better than my living room, because I’ll spend most of my remaining life here and will bring my creative ideas to life.”


Following this motto, construction of the 170m² glass-blowing workshop began in 1998. The building is connected to the cellar of the existing house via a corridor. In order to give the largest possible area with the smallest visibility from the house, a double-wing layout was chosen, which sits four feet below ground level. Because of the green roofs, the insulation of the building is perfect for a glass blowing workshop – in summer it is the temperature of a cellar, and for winter the concrete floor is insulated and has solar underfloor heating which maintains a comfortable working temperature. The double-wing design creates a workshop that is divided into: a hot working area, with about 20 burners, 6 ovens and two lathes; and a cold working area for glass cutting, grinding and drilling and additional worktops. The glass warehouse is located in a basement tunnel that is completely embedded into the soil. An amphitheatre-like courtyard offers a clear view of the local mountains. A mosaic floor with a fire-circle pattern links the inside and outside, and leftover concrete surfaces are visible, either as natural stones, planted with wild vines, or in the entrance area painted like a Martian landscape.


The complete isolation allows me to work undisturbed at the highest level at any time and season. When it snows particularly heavily in winter, the workshop is difficult or sometimes impossible to reach by car.


In 2006, the workshop was extended with a 14m-high tree house. In 1990, the tree had been cut in half by a lightning strike, and many years later was turned into a tree house platform. It serves as a retreat or place of inspiration and is perfectly suited for an afternoon nap.


In 2012, another glass storage tunnel with an area of 50 m² was built. A photovoltaic system makes the residential building and workshop self-sufficient in electricity on sunny days. In order to be even more independent of external raw material suppliers in the future, an HVO oxygen system was purchased in 2019. The goal is to generate oxygen 100% from in-house solar power and thus only have to worry about filling the underground propane tank once every five years.


The village Mariastein, with its 300 inhabitants, lies at the foot of the mountains near the Kaiser Mountains. As the name indicates, Mariastein is a place of pilgrimage and is notable for its imposing castle church. 150 steps lead upwards to the pilgrimage chapel, which in the last 650 years must have made many pilgrims breathless.