Ahlbrecht Felix Scheidt Kasprusch | Depot and Administration Ruhr Museum
An extreme restraint for all structural addition within the context of the world heritage – the colliery of Zollverein with all architectural qualities and inestimable historic values – is indicated. The course of the design for the new depot of the Ruhr Museum was based on serenity and mastery. Clear geometry and decreased material selection were ways and methods for the design. On the one hand, the building is positioned into the correct context, on the other hand it abstracts and sublimates this context. The coal washing plant in the east, junction tower in the north, mine pile in the west and the southward situated new building form a small forecourt and continue the typical change of built mass and open spaces.
The large-scale exposed concrete and glass surfaces with their pure product quality advance the puristic and rational appearance of Zollverein. The material and colour of the new building respond to the steel frame walls of the coal mine plant, which are filled-in with bricks: the exposed concrete of the new building gives an equal surface feel and a perceptible materiality, the blackness of the concrete defers to the reddish brown bricks of the existing buildings.
The clear surface structure of the monolithic looking building, the change of glass and concrete, indicates the interior functions: ground floor and first floor are predominantly closed, because depots for graphic, archaeology and photo are situated here, and define the entrance on the north. The both upper floors are completely glazed at the length and clarify the office space, which is located behind. The library, as the administration’s focus, is accessible by connecting stairs by all offices.
Area ways, situated in the middle, and room-high door frames with fanlights establish a visual correspondence between the both office floors and bring light into the corridors.Building mass (massive concrete walls and ceilings), hygroscopic materials of the inner surfaces (lime cement plaster) and the intelligent regulation of heating and natural ventilation enable an optimal climate inside the archive.
Thus an expensive and high energy consuming ventilation and air conditioning is not necessary.
Location: Essen, Germany Architect: Ahlbrecht Felix Scheidt Kasprusch
Awarding authority: Development Company Zollverein mbh
Concept and development: Ahlbrecht Felix Scheidt Kasprusch
Implementation competition: 2008, 1st award
Gross floor area: 1843 sqm
Cubature: 5770 cbm
Construction cost: 2.55 m. euro
Award: Essener Architekturpreis 2010
Photographs: Deimel & Wittmar
Materials exposed: concrete and glass surfaces