MAGISTRACY, CITY OF GIESSEN
CITY OF GIESSEN
MONUMENT REFURBISHMENT AND NEW BUILDING
CONSTRUCTION COSTS, COST GROUPS 200 – 800
PERFORMANCE STAGES 1–9
1ST PRIZE, IMPLEMENTATION COMPETITION
Especially in Giessen, where so few historical buildings have survived, it is hardly possible to find an appropriate location to communicate urban history: based on the relics of Giessen Castle, known as the Wasserburg, which forms the nucleus of the city, the two houses on Kirchenplatz represent different temporal layers – including one of the oldest half-timber houses in Hesse. Major measures and undermining extensions only weaken the concise nature of this unique ensemble.
The key architectural prerequisite for a pleasant museum experience is a connection between the two buildings, thereby enhancing their inviting character and enabling a coherent interior museum tour. The inserted, well-lit staircase guides visitors to all levels and makes the historical architecture and the exhibition very tangible. Although the finely-structured, transparent extension is clearly recognisable as a contemporary structure, it merges with the existing structures to form a homogeneous unity through its references to the identity-strengthening architecture. The enlarged entrance opening highlights the museum’s self-perception as a publicly open facility.