Sparrenberg Castle visitor centre by Max Dudler boasts striated concrete walls

To contrast, furniture and fittings are built from wood. The building is entirely free-standing and doesn’t make contact with the gatehouse at any point. Multi-tonal layers of concrete resemble bands of sediment on the walls of this visitor centre designed by Swiss architect Max Dudler for a medieval fortress in Germany (+ slideshow). Max Dudler won a competition last year to add a new visitor centre and information point for the historic complex, creating a new gateway and upgrading facilities for visitors. The single-storey visitor centre is the first of the two structures to be completed. This creates two openings – one leading to the entrance terrace and a second that can be used by staff. Currently under construction, it is due to open at the end of the year. “The design is not a reconstruction of a certain historical state but instead adds a contemporary layer to the place’s ever-changing history,” said Max Dudler, who previously completed a stone visitor centre at another German castle. Dating back to the 13th century, the fortress has been reconstructed many times but its current form is a mixture of styles ranging from the 16th century up until the Second World War. The stripy concrete walls have been left exposed inside, where the building accommodates a museum shop, a ticket desk and a cafe kiosk. The process combines the methods of casting concrete and building up layers of earth, resulting in surfaces that look like layers of sediment. Related story: Glowing glass blocks surround the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz metro station by Max Dudler
Conceived as “a contemporary update of fortress architecture”, the buildings have been designed to complement all of the styles that make up the complex, not just the medieval   castle. The architect’s intention was to highlight the difference between old and new. Located at the south-eastern end of the bailey – the historic wall that circles the castle – it   frames the remains of an old stone gatehouse.

Updated: 26.11.2014 — 17:48