Black Forest National Park/text


Location: Schwarzwald
Competition: 2015
Client: County of Baden-Würtemberg

Black Forest National Park

In 2014 the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg tendered a competition for the new visitor and information center. The same year, the area around “Ruhestein” and “Herrenwies” was appointed Black Forest National Park (“Nationalpark Schwarzwald”). The park spreads across 10,000 square meters and is planned to provide a central point of contact for the visitors to inform about the forest, the environment, and the surrounding. Additionally, a second building will accommodate the administration of the park.

The urban-landscape concept of our design refers to the existing “Villa Klumpp” that is under preservation order. We designed a four storey rectangular volume that slides into the topography by using the natural slope; the result is a unique natural experience.

Entering the building via the second floor, a covered path leads towards the entrance and into the foyer offering a first view over the dimension of the terrain and showing opportunities to explore the forest. The building provides a restaurant, book shop, different exhibition rooms as well as a space for offices, events and education.

A cinema, a room of tranquility and a space for temporary exhibitions is located in the two lower floors. The exhibitions as well as the other areas let the visitors independently explore the information center and do not set up any guiding rules.

Surrounded by treetops and the nature, the forest is a special experience. New connections of the interior and exterior create a dialogue between the simple building structure and its surrounding. The volume metaphorically builds a bridge to the nature aiming for the different sensory stimuli. The interplay of the house and the forest results in an ensemble creating a tension between the inside and the outside. This interpretation was formed from the slogan of the national park “Let the nature be nature”. New insights into the nature provide these links between the forest and the house. In its clear form, the building adapts to the surrounding and lets the nature be experienced untroubled.

Local wood is foreseen for the interior construction as another connecting component.  The second new construction – the administration building – is suggested to be entirely wooden.

Another highlight is the canopy walkway. It presents an exciting contrast to the clear building volume. A bridge leads into the trees and let the haptics of the forest be experienced. Thus the visitors can experience the forest even more and be part of it.

The design of the building allows the nature to fully bent and pursues the experience of nature to its full extend. Nothing is forced, nothing distracts. The visitor can fully pay attention to the nature and can get lost in contemplation.