Duderstadt, situated in the neighbourhood of Göttingen, ranks among the 10 most important ‘half-timbered’ towns in Germany. Besides the historic town hall, one of the most striking landmarks is the medieval “Westerturm”, with its distinctive twisted spire, integrated within the oldest sections of the city fortifications. In 2009 it was decided to undertake the renovation of an abandoned half-timbered house next to the tower and to install a museum for historical marksmanship, thus incorporating the tower with another house on its east side that had been badly restored some years before.
The massive, historic stone wall acts as a support for the structure on one side of the ensemble. In addition to the re-established half-timbered structure, we designed an expressive new wing made of concrete, consisting of assembled triangular folds. The addition mainly houses emergency staircases, as well as a gallery with a void in front of a big window. In keeping with the shape of the new building, the three storey open staircases are also sculptural in design and form.
Golden Copper Alloy
The facade is clad with golden copper alloy panels of various sizes, set in an uneven pattern, executed by a specialist contractor and exhibiting particularly high craftsmanship standards. The result is a completely foreign body, adding an exciting new quality – partly rigid and partly organic – among the other houses in this idyllic setting. A new steel bridge over a reconstructed parapet makes it possible to take a walk along part of the ancient town’s fortifications. The museum’s interior is mainly characterised by a limited palette of materials: raw steel on the floor and the balustrades, black painted wood surfaces for furniture and doors (imprinted with sulphur yellow texts and images) and exposed concrete inside the new wing, contrasting with the old stone wall. Here, the exhibition offers three storeys of different media installations and historical exhibits, giving insights into such themes as shooting, city defence and town life in the middle-ages. The first floor is dedicated to the archers and riflemen who formed a special militia to defend the city.
“The inclined facades of the new wing refer to the similarly inclined facades of old typical half-timbered houses in the neighbourhood, but in totally different and new ways. The golden skin was chosen in reference to the shinymetal surfaces of old weapons like armour, swords and shields.”
Christoph Claus, Gnädinger Architekten