It had been forty-five years since the last ice race in Zell am See, when in 2019 two young motorheads brought the tournament back from the dead. Today the revenant GP ICE RACE congregates a motley crew of sportscars in this stunning region of Austria, eager to compete in the slippery race. There’s a Red Bull Formula One, a pre-war Bugatti, a beach buggy with a Porsche engine, a Santa Claus driving a Formula V, and even one of Erwin Wurm’s sculptures on wheels.
Like a pop-up living room, this portable pavilion designed by STEINER ARCHITECTURE f/f offers racers somewhere to unwind in the same laid-back, come-as-you-are atmosphere of the event. Vintage furniture, Persian rugs, a Pan Am carpet and a model British Airways Concord come together in a stylish arrangement with a sense of humour, that waves hello to the gift of travel and to the pastness of the tournament. Parked on fine carpets, the car is a declaration that whatever is good for the automobile is good for the driver. They partake in the fun on an equal footing.
But it wouldn’t have been January 2022 without the statutory uncertainties of COVID, and the structure had to be put together in a record two-weeks time. Timber fulfilled the project’s schedular requirements, and made it possible to haul and hoist the columns, base, back wall and roof into position, and demount them as the tournament came to an end. Lacquer paint gave the columns their crimson gloss that insinuates the finish of cars. They are reflected on the inverted gable roof, which is having its own conversation with the winter landscape. On radiant days it has the blinding effect of freshly fallen snow. And on cloudy ones it might vanish against the frosted background.