Location: Beeskow, Brandenburg
Competition: 2010
Client: Kreisstadt Beeskow

The Art Archive of Castle Beeskow

The castle Beeskow in the state Brandenburg is a medieval castle ensemble accommodating different cultural organizations and now aims at constructing an art archive on the historic grounds in order to safely house the art collection. Amongst other things, the holdings of the “Artothek der Sozialen Kunstförderung Berlin” (art lending library for the social promotion of art) will store 30,000 exhibits. On the long run, the art archive is planned to establish itself as a European Research and Service Center keeping alive art history.

The changing history of the place is perceivable from the various annexes and conversions. By designing the extension for the future archive the castle area is spatially completed and now presents a great chance for the future development of the castle ensemble.

The challenge of the design was to keep and integrate the conservational aspect and existing buildings. The existing ensemble defines the rules that have to be complied for the new volume. Different materials and design elements have been taken over for the extension in order to keep the context of the castle area. Asserted on the area and clearly integrating itself, the extension will not dominate the site. The designed archive stands towards the inner courtyard like a shelf, welcomingly opens up to the center of the castle. The three other sides are protected by the restored exterior walls of the castle and the old brewery. Visually, the impression results in a fortified castle ensemble, due to the fact that the enclosing wall is reconstructed again. At the same time, the historic elements were kept and integrated into the concept.

Reparations and extensions are constructed in a crafted manner realized with brick. The historical elements stay visible in the interior and exterior; functional and necessary openings for windows are integrated according to the historic proportions. The magazine located at the northern wall is in bad structural condition and cannot be integrated into any further usages. Therefore, it is reconstructed in a similar cubage and included into the art archive building. By structuring the façade in the upper floors with wooden slats, it is additionally reminding of the old magazine.

To the inside, the ground floor opens with a transparent entrance and exhibition zone. The entrance of the archive is located clearly visible opposite to the castle entrance. The structure and material of the new façade forms a calm backdrop for various events in the courtyard but let the usages inside be perceived individually as well.