Visitor and Event Center for the Ensemble “Evenburg”/text


Location: Leer, Ostfriesland
Competition: 1. Prize 2014
Client: Landkreis Leer
Landscape Architect: nsp christoph schonhoff landschaftarchitekten BDA

Visitor and Event Center for the Ensemble “Evenburg”

The neo-gothic castle with its outer bailey and the park form the ensemble “Evenburg” – the most significant historical monument in the district Leer in East Frisia. Our design for the requested building extension creates a place that respectively picks up the historic traces. We perceive the historic complex as an ensemble that – with the sensitively inserted extension – is reunited as one entity again.

At the same time, the design interprets the historical context and sets an example giving the ensemble an identity and attracting visitors. The great hall with its extraordinary roof becomes an unforgettable experience for the visitors and is advancing into a prominent landmark within the East-Frisian landscape.

The extension of the outer bailey refers to the original eastern building wing and restores the historical symmetry around the small plaza. The uniform design of the roofs appears as a seamless transition to the existing building structure. At the same time, the extension mirrors the southern plaza to the north resulting in a forecourt.

An attractive address is generated by offering an additional entrance area referring to the opposite church. Directed north-south, the historic part of the outer bailey leads into the park. At the same time, the south façade of the extension with its large windows and glazed roof creates a direct link to the magical scenery of the neo-gothic castle.

The partly perforated wall along the street “Am Schlosspark” refers to the historic edge with its interplay of buildings, greenhouses and wall segments. It defines the starting point of the English park in reference to the historic structure that formerly marked the border of the property and nowadays allows the visitors to peak through openings discovering beautiful views into the garden of the castle. Ending at the north-east corner of the park (former gardener’s home) at a greenhouse the wall finds its dramatic completion.

The historic significance of the former kitchen garden with its greenhouses, as described by Julius Tripp, is supported by the spatial connection – and at the same time reinterpreted. The structure of the new gardens was developed from the context of the historic buildings.

Linearly structured garden areas remind of the greenhouses and allow for a gradual development. The existing paths through the garden are integrated into the concept and form a spatial cooperation between the park and the garden. The landscape architectural settings are sensitively integrated into the historic park and entrance area. The new terrace and play area create a place that reacts to the new requirements thus emphasizing the historic ensemble from buildings and green landscapes in its unique appearance.