Hambach Castle Entrance Building / Max Dudler

Hambach castle entrance building / max dudler

The entrance building is situated north of the castle on its outer curtain wall. It serves mainly as ticket shop and office building. Due to its more secondary function, the building was specifically placed in this position and deliberately given the typological character of an auxiliary building. Its design therefore reflects the hierarchy of the buildings on the castle site, which topped by the castle itself (the subject of stage one) unfurls via the inner curtain wall (with the wall-like restaurant as part of stage two) towards the outer wall and the entrance building just opened.

Hambach castle entrance building / max dudler

The concept of giving the buildings a typological order has also defined its shape. Derived from the archetypical basic shape, the building effectively follows the site’s curved morphology and develops an apparently spontaneous and offset geometry. This “trick” made it possible to adapt the building’s considerable volume to the scale of the curtain wall. At the same time its special geometry becomes a motor for the design’s sculptural vibrancy.

The facade and the roof of the freestanding building are made from the local Leistadt Sandstone. Its accurate detailing and material abstraction – the sandstone is cut and serrated in a staggered way – identifies the building as a contemporary intervention.

Hambach castle entrance building / max dudler

On the building’s ground floor, visitors can buy tickets and receive information on the castle. Upstairs are the offices of the Hambach Castle Foundation (Stiftung Hambacher Schloss) and the company that runs the castle (Hambacher Schloss Betriebs-GmbH). The building’s interior design is also by Max Dudler.

Hambach Castle, where the Hambach Festival took place, stands for European and German history in a unique way. Thanks to the Hambach Festival, which took place here on the ruins in 1832, it is considered the cradle of German democracy. Since the founding of a late Roman hilltop settlement on the Hambach Castle site around 305 AD, the buildings in this spot have taken many different shapes. Plans for extensive modernisation and redesign measures as well as new buildings were initiated after the castle passed into the ownership of the Hambach Castle Foundation in 2002.

Hambach castle entrance building / max dudler
Hambach castle entrance building / max dudler

In 2004, Max Dudler won the architectural competition held by the Hambach Castle Foundation. The first two construction stages – restoration of the castle in line with regulations for historical monuments and construction of the “Restaurant 1832” – were completed earlier. For his work in Hambach, Max Dudler was awarded the DAM Prize for Architecture in Germany 2012 as well as the German Natural Stone Award 2013 in the “Solid building elements and building within existing structures” and “Landscaping and open space design” categories. Hambach Castle is certified “Barrier-free access, level 1” and features the nationally recognised “Tourism for all – barrier-free access” certificate.

Project Details:

Location: Neustadt, Germany
Type: Public
Architects: Max Dudler
Design Team: Kilian Teckemeier, Thomas Back, Patrick Gründel
Project Managers: Simone Boldrin, Julia Lapsin
Area: 452.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photos: Stefan Mueller

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