verfüllte Ziegel, MW, Mineralwolle, Erdbebenzone 3, EB, harris + kurrle architekten bda, Neckar,  Deutscher Ziegelpreis 2019, Monolith
© Roland Halbe

Living repository of knowledge

architectum issue renovation

verfüllte Ziegel, MW, Mineralwolle, Erdbebenzone 3, EB, harris + kurrle architekten bda, Neckar,  Deutscher Ziegelpreis 2019, Monolith
© Roland Halbe

Municipal library Rottenburg

in Germany

verfüllte Ziegel, MW, Mineralwolle, Erdbebenzone 3, EB, harris + kurrle architekten bda, Neckar,  Deutscher Ziegelpreis 2019, Monolith
© Roland Halbe

Products used

Poroton S10-42,5-MiWo, Poroton system accessories

Living repository of knowledge

How can a medieval townscape be developed and architecturally upgraded while retaining its character? In Rottenburg, Germany, this question is answered by a grey monolith.

A Municipal library in Rottenburg

A bishop’s palace on one side and medieval old town on the other. In between, a new five-storey building, grey and imposing, but still harmonising with the urban fabric. The team of architects at Harris + Kurrle Architekten from Stuttgart, Germany puzzled over this exceptional challenge.
 
The towering municipal library was erected at a prominent urban location in Rottenburg am Neckar in 2017. The building replaced three badly dilapidated, medieval structures. It was intended to revive the town centre, create a social meeting point for the town’s residents and fill the vacant site. 

Earthquake-resistant masonry

This massive building made of thick, single-shell masonry complements the existing historical urban fabric discreetly and with a great depth of character. The appearance was not the only important aspect in this project. The town is located between the Swabian Jura mountains and the Black Forest in a region with a very high risk of earthquakes (seismic zone 3).
 
Therefore, the design had to be extremely stable with well-proportioned interior spaces and a mass that is highly efficient in terms of structural analysis and construction physics. The energy-efficient design is primarily based on passive methods. It uses a highly insulated building envelope and a perfectly calculated ratio of windows with solar control glazing. Exposed concrete ceilings act as natural thermal masses. 

Minimised risk of cracking

The municipal library building was finally implemented as a solid brick structure made of Poroton S10-MiWo bricks with integrated mineral wool thermal insulation. “We searched for a long time to find a product that would meet all these demands. It was important to us to have a uniform plaster base with a minimised risk of cracking”, says project architect Vojtech Bast from Harris + Kurrle Architekten. The library windows are 2 by 2 metres in size. To alleviate the weakening of the structure caused by the large windows, they were framed with reinforced concrete bracing columns and clad with additional brick products from the Poroton system accessory range.
 
This eliminated the need for additional components, such as insulation, which would have been visible in the façade. The rendered brickwork matches the typical building materials used in the town, but has been reinterpreted in terms of colour and texture with a brushed plaster finish. 

Award-winning architecture

 
This extraordinary urban development project has received several awards: the 2020 Baden-Wuerttemberg State Prize for Building Culture in the category Building for the community, the 2020 Otto Borst Prize for Urban Renewal and the German 2019 Brick Award.
 
It has also garnered praised for its versatile functions beyond its use as a library and for the way in which it improves and merges harmoniously into the historic townscape. 

verfüllte Ziegel, MW, Mineralwolle, Erdbebenzone 3, EB, harris + kurrle architekten bda, Neckar,  Deutscher Ziegelpreis 2019, Monolith
© Roland Halbe

Facts & Figures

Project name: Municipal library, Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany

 

Architeture   Harris + Kurrle Architekten BDA

Client  Town Rottenburg am Neckar

Year of completion   2017

Category   Renovation

Products used   Poroton S10-42,5-MiWo, Poroton system accessories

verfüllte Ziegel, MW, Mineralwolle, Erdbebenzone 3, EB, harris + kurrle architekten bda, Neckar,  Deutscher Ziegelpreis 2019, Monolith

Poroton S1´0-42,5-MiWo - Germany

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