THE CRAFT OF BACHMAIR
From Bavaria, With Love
"I am, as I like to say, a local patriot, and the best way to express this is in the architecture, the design, the food. In Bavaria, we build things with a respect for authenticity."
Respect for craftsmanship is built into Korbinian Kohler’s DNA. After all he is the fourth generation to have grown up with and run the family paper mill, Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund, on Lake Tegernsee—a company world-renowned for producing the Bentley of papers (“maybe,” concedes Kohler, “though that depends on whether you prefer Bentley over Rolls-Royce”).
While Kohler is no longer involved in the paper business, all his current endeavors—both personal and professional—display a fastidious respect for traditional craftsmanship in the creation of a luxury experience. “Three years ago I built a new home—the kind of place somebody in Munich would have built on Lake Tegernsee in 1910. So not an old house, but a new house, conceived as if the builders have just finished and left, but in the year 1910. To pull it off, authentic detail meant everything.”
His commitment to the hotel’s craftsmanship is no less rigorous. “The oak had to be natural, solid, and only oiled so it smelled, felt, and looked like it belonged to this part of the world,” says Kohler. “The shapes of the furniture needed to be derived from Tegernsee traditions, but with a twist; I strove for something a little more pared back, simple—contemporary, I suppose. The natural linen we used, Schilfleinen, is the same fabric you see used with the local summer jackets. This became curtains, bed covers, upholstery, sometimes combining it with velvet.” The combination was intended to reflect both the farming roots and glamor of Lake Tegernsee.
Even the cakes in the lobby, says Kohler, are derived from the traditional Bavarian recipes of his mother. “This is because the hotel showcases Bavarian creativity in a way that makes me proud. I am, as I like to say, a local patriot, and the best way to express this is in the architecture, the design, the food. In Bavaria, we build things with a respect for authenticity. We are part of the here and now, but we build things to last.”