Berlin studio Gnädinger Architekten has completed a faceted golden museum dedicated to medieval marksmanship beside the fortified city wall of Duderstadt in Germany.
Like many historic towns in Germany, Duderstadt is filled with timber-framed buildings that are referred to as "half-timbered" and Gnädinger Architekten added the faceted golden structure to one of these old houses to create the two wings of the new museum.
"The expressive, outstanding form was chosen to create a new landmark in this old medieval town and a signature architecture for this unique museum," architect Christoph Claus told Dezeen. "The inclined facades of the new wing refer to the similarly inclined facades of the old typical half-timbered houses in the neighbourhood, but in totally different and new ways."
The museum also adjoins the historical Westerturm gatehouse tower, which dates back to the thirteenth century and features an unusual twisted spire. The architects added a new steel bridge to allow visitors to walk from this fortification to the next along the parapet of the ancient stone wall.
Sheets of copper alloy give the new wing its golden cladding and were installed by a traditional tinsmith. "The golden skin was choosen in reference to the metal shiny surfaces of old weapons like armour, swords and shields," said Claus.
"A wonderful side-effect is the sun reflection in this very narrow street," he added.
Visitors enter the building through the old house and an angled staircase leads up through the extension to galleries on each floor.
The stone structure of the wall is exposed inside some of the rooms and the architects also used materials such as black-painted timber and raw steel.
Completed in 2011, the museum is already open to the public and offers an insight into shooting, city defense and local town life in the middle ages.
Other golden buildings we've featured include the Islamic art galleries at the Musée du Louvre in Paris and an extension to a Tudor-style museum in Maidstone, England.
Here's a project description from Gnädinger Architekten:
Museum of Historical Markmenship, Duderstadt, Germany
Duderstadt, which is situated in the neighborhood of Göttingen, ranks among the 10 most important half-timbered towns in Germany. Besides the historical town hall, one of the most striking landmarks is the medieval "Westerturm", with its distinctive twisted spire, integrated in the oldest sections of the city fortifications.
Above: ground floor plan - click above to see larger image
In 2009 it was decided, to undertake the renovation of an abandoned half-timbered house next to the tower and to install a museum for historical marksmanship, thus incorporating the tower with another house on the east side of the tower, that has been flashily restored some years before.
Above: first floor plan - click above to see larger image
The massive historic stonewall acts as a support for the structure on one side of the ensemble. In addition to the reestablished half-timbered structure, Gnädinger Architects designed an expressive new wing made of concrete, consisting of assembled triangular folds. The addition, mainly houses the emergency staircases, as well as a gallery with a void in front of a big window. In keeping with the shape of the new building, the three story open staircases are also sculptural in design and form.
Above: second floor plan - click above to see larger image
The facade is clad with golden copper metal panels of various sizes, set in a uneven pattern; this has been executed by a tinsmith, in accordance to high craftsmanship standards.
Above: roof plan - click above to see larger image
The result reveals a completely foreign body, an exciting new quality, both partly rigid and partly organic among the other houses in this idyllic neighbourhood.
Above: front elevation - click above to see larger image
The interior design is mainly characterized by the use of a few materials: raw steel on the floor and the balustrades, black painted wood surfaces for furniture and doors imprinted with sulphur yellow texts and pictos and exposed concrete inside the new wing, contrasting with the old stone wall.
Above: facade details - click above to see larger image
The exhibition offers three stories of different media installations and historical exhibits, giving insights to such themes as shooting, city defense and town life in the middle ages. An interactive town model of Duderstadt allows the visitors to reenact different attack scenarios. The first floor is dedicated to the archers and shooters who formed a special militia to defend the city in the middle ages. Visitors can try their hand at target shooting or the crossbow, at two virtual shooting ranges. Further audio installations are spread throughout the overall museum and give insights ito medieval city life.
A new steel bridge, a reconstructed parapet walk, makes it possible to take a walk along a part of the ancient town fortifications, it also connects the ensemble to the adjacent historic "Georgsturm", build onto the town wall in the eighteen century.
Volume: old part 765 m3, new wing 430 m3
Costs (without exhibition) 1.01 Mill. €
Designteam: Rolf Gnädinger, Babette Drillig, Karin Hirschmiller, Markus Hattwig
Project Director: Christoph Claus
Exibition-Design: Art+Com, Berlin
Sign up for a daily roundup
of all our stories