Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

• April 28, 2012

Historically significant Hambach Castle has been modernised and extended for restaurant use by architect Max Dudler.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 1 600x288 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Max Dudler’s idea was to turn the accessible castle wall into a usable space. This he achieved through his choice of building material – using the same type of stone for the facades as had been used for the existing castle walls – as well as through opening up the stone walls with large, deeply recessed windows, thereby enhancing the building’s sense of depth.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 3 600x168 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Dudler’s concept of “creating a building from the wall” resonates with the building ensemble as a whole. This results in unobtrusive, clean-lined structures which complement the principal castle building, thereby ensuring visitors a welcome that is respectful of history.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 6 600x270 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Additions to the historical building augment rather than overwhelm the existing structure. Dudler’s desire was to “respect the language of the place by coming up with a suitable architectural response to the structure’s existing vocabulary”.

The castle’s new restaurant – with its panoramic stone terrace offering breathtaking views – also takes its visual lead from the defensive walls and serves in a sense to augment them. The result is a sculptural building whose dining function serves as an additional benefit to the complex as a whole. The restaurant has many windows which are glazed flush with the interior wall.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 7 600x354 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Both in the remodelling of the castle (with its festive hall, Siebenpfeiffer Hall and modern conference centre) and in the construction of the ‘1832 Restaurant’, Dudler took the castle’s defensive walls as his visual starting point. Made of local yellow sandstone, these walls heavily influence the site’s overall appearance and for this reason the same material was chosen for new construction work.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 8 600x419 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Serving as backdrop to the so-called “German National Festival”, Hambach Castle bears unique witness to both German and European history and is regarded as the cradle of German democracy due to the Hambach Festival which took place amid its ruins in 1832. Since its founding as a late Roman hilltop settlement in 305 AD, the castle has been modified extensively over successive centuries. After its transferral to the Hambach Castle Foundation in 2002, plans were drawn up for the structure to undergo extensive modernisation, remodelling and new construction work. The architectural competition organised by the Foundation was won by renowned architect Professor Max Dudler.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 9 600x361 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

Dudler was insistent that any additions to the historical building should augment rather than overwhelm the existing structure. His desire was to “respect the language of the place by coming up with a suitable architectural response to the structure’s existing vocabulary”. Bearing in mind the building’s almost two thousand year history, his goal was to extend the existing historical structure through subtle means. A balanced architectural whole was created through use of a contemporary style embedded in tradition and history. Max Dudler’s idea was to turn the accessible castle wall into a usable space. This he achieved through his choice of building material – using the same type of stone for the facades as had been used for the existing castle walls – as well as through opening up the stone walls with large, deeply recessed windows, thereby enhancing the building’s sense of depth. Both in the remodelling of the castle (with its festive hall, Siebenpfeiffer Hall and modern conference centre) and in the construction of the ‘1832 Restaurant’, Dudler took the castle’s defensive walls as his visual starting point. Made of local yellow sandstone, these walls heavily influence the site’s overall appearance and for this reason the same material was chosen for new construction work.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 11 600x538 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

During the rebuilding work, Dudler attached great importance to exposing the building’s original substance. The existing walls were painstakingly cleaned, opened up and consolidated, thereby creating both spatial and chronological connections which had remained concealed until then. New materials – such as cherry wood, stone, steel and glass – were selected so as to blend in naturally, while all technical features remained hidden within the thick walls. The castle’s new restaurant – with its panoramic stone terrace offering breathtaking views – also takes its visual lead from the defensive walls and serves in a sense to augment them. The result is a sculptural building whose dining function serves as an additional benefit to the complex as a whole. The restaurant has many windows which are glazed flush with the interior wall. These deeply recessed forms in various sizes are distributed like paintings across the restaurant wall, creating sophisticated visual compositions which establish an enhanced relationship with the stunning landscape beyond. The light and rectilinear restaurant nestles harmoniously alongside the existing historical castle building, providing both an optical continuation of the mediaeval ring wall and a logical evolution of the building’s structural form. The concept of “creating a building from the wall” resonates with the building ensemble as a whole. This results in unobtrusive, clean-lined structures which complement the principal castle building, thereby ensuring visitors a welcome that is respectful of history.

Max Dudler Hambach Castle 10 600x261 Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle \ Max Dudler

Conversion and Extension of Hambacher Castle, image Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

+ Project facts

Client: Stiftung Hambacher Schloss
User: Hambacher Schloss Betriebs-GmbH
Planning and construction period: 2005–2011 (renovation work 2005–2008, construction of new buildings 2009–2011)
Architect: Max Dudler Berlin / Zürich / Frankfurt
Project Manager: Simone Boldrin
Contributors: Julia Werner, Handan Özdimir, Patrick Gründel)
Photos: Stefan Müller

Building volumes:
renovated buildings: 3.600 m2 gross surface area, 15.500 m3 gross building volume
new buildings: n1.300 m2 gross surface area, 6.300 m3 gross building volume

Construction costs for rebuilding and new construction: approx. 20 million Euros

+ About Max Dudler

Dudler was born in Altenrhein, Switzerland and began his studies at Städelschule Frankfurt/M (Prof. Günter Bock). He graduated at University of the Arts in Berlin (Ludwig Leo). For many years he was a member of O.M. Ungers group. In 1986 he established his first architectural firm. Today the renowned architect runs offices in Berlin, Zürich and Frankfurt/M. Since 2004 Max Dudler holds a professorship at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf.

+ All images courtesy Max Dudler | Photo by Stefan Müller

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Category: Architecture, Culture

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