Museum, Det Tyske Museum, Avignon
© Niels Nygaard Photography

A strong connection to history

architectum issue: roof and façade

Museum, Det Tyske Museum, Avignon
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

New building meets old museum

in Denmark

Museum, Det Tyske Museum, Avignon
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

Product used

EW2162 Avignon

A strong connection to history

How do you expand a museum housed in an old villa? By daring to make bold contrasts, and by telling an authentic story at the same time.

New building meets old museum in Denmark

A 100th anniversary is something to celebrate! And the German Museum North Schleswig in Sønderborg on the Danish-German border thought so too. In 1920, the Prussian province of Schleswig was divided into a Danish section, North Schleswig, and a German section, South Schleswig. The museum illustrates the history of the German ethnic minority in the Danish part of the province, and now, to mark the 100th anniversary of its foundation, the museum’s facilities have been renovated and expanded.
“Danish-German relations in the border region have become a model for the whole of Europe. So the museum also wants to show the development of the borderland from ‘conflict’ to ‘coexistence’ and now to ‘supporting each other’”, explains the architectural firm Tegnestuen Mejeriet, which led the project. Together with the company No Parking Production and the museum itself, their design interpreted the renovation and expansion as a symbolic link between the past and the present. 

Light from outside, light from inside

The new building strikes a powerful contrast with the old building. The existing building is a villa with typical façade ornaments. The extension, which is connected to the old building by a glass-roofed stairwell, is angular and modern. Despite this, the façade, made of sand-coloured bricks, makes the extension warm and inviting. To achieve this, the architects opted for the EW2162 Avignon, a light brick with a strong character. It was used on the façade in various configurations, sometimes with perforations, sometimes with projecting edges. The bricks were alternately laid flush and pointed to create a hinge effect.
The various patterns of the façade ensure “a changing play of shadows on the façade and changes in the fall of light in the foyer throughout the day”, according to the planners. “At the same time, the light inside the building shines through the façade in the evening, which accentuates the building and its position in the city.”

Interaction of cultures

Overall, much of the history can be gleaned from the structure and stonework. Because the building underscores the different cultures that meet in the border area, both the new building itself and the connection with the old museum building stand for interaction.
At the same time, the new architecture intends to make the museum more conspicuous and appealing to visitors. The old building now houses the permanent exhibition and offices for the museum staff. The extension includes the foyer, a cinema, exhibition rooms, a communal area, archives and a rooftop terrace. The terrace offers a lovely view over the sea fjord – and further into the bright future for the borderland. 

EW2162 Avignon - The German Museum, Avignon
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

Facts & Figures

Project name: German Museum North ­Schleswig, Sønderborg, Denmark

Architecture   Tegnestuen Mejeriet, No Parking Production

Client   German Museum North Schleswig

Year of completion   2020

Category  Roof and façade, public

Product used   EW2162 Avignon

Museum, Det Tyske Museum, Avignon
© Egernsund Wienerberger A/S

EW2162 Avignon - Denmark

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