15 historic farmhouses and farm buildings from Upper Swabia and the West Allgäu – each one a historic monument of its time. What can be built here without causing irritation? How to complement an ensemble that is already impressive? VON M architects from Stuttgart have found the answer to this difficult question: with a great deal of restraint, a lot of feeling and by responding to the existing motifs in a subtle manner.
The Wolfegg farmhouse museum is a popular destination in the district of Ravensburg, Germany. Over ten hectares, old farms from the region have found a new home here and invite visitors on a journey through time into the world of the farmers, maids and servants of bygone days.
The oldest building is the "tithe barn“, which once stored the grain that had to be handed over to the church. The vast stone and timber construction is over 600 years old. Today it serves as the entrance to the farmhouse museum. And it is here, right next to this mighty eye-catcher that a new building was recently built: a space for workshops, special exhibitions and small events. The Stuttgart architecture firm VON M has taken on this task and created a pavilion that harmoniously complements the museum impression in its simplicity.
For this purpose, Matthias Siegert, Myriam Kunz and Dennis Mueller focused on the surrounding rural forms and materials. With its classic saddle roof and rectangular cubage, the building now looks like an old wooden shed – only in a new, modern, exciting construction:
The wall panels made of solid spruce cross-laminated timber can be fully opened like folding shutters. This brings about an interesting interplay of open and closed wall surface and, if desired, a smooth transition from inside to outside. The generous incidence of light and the bright materials used make the interior quiet, welcoming and strong. The key feature for the adaptation to the existing buildings is the monochromatic colour scheme of the outer shell: The architects had the spruce elements painted with Pullex Silverwood from ADLER in the colour Graualuminium (grey aluminium). "The aluminium-pigmented transparent wood finish bridges the gap between historic structures, everyday architecture and contemporary buildings," explains Dennis Mueller.
As a result, the pavilion succeeds as a masterpiece. It stands out by virtue of not standing out; it belongs to its rural neighbours without really forming part of them. And it does not divert your gaze – but rather your eyes are attracted to the historic group of buildings!
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