Visitor Center Schloss Benrath Read more

Expanding a symmetrically laid-out palace complex that has been preserved over the centuries requires restraint and sensitivity. We propose an additive approach that leaves the existing complex largely untouched and maintains a visibly reversible character for visitors. To achieve this, we place the visitor center like a fitting piece in the courtyard of the western wing, maintaining a narrow gap and remaining structurally and thermally independent from the existing structure. This preserves the character of the old building and the function of the surrounding arcade as a distribution area around the courtyard.
The visitor center with its undivided space, articulated only by a few wooden columns, primarily appears as an inner courtyard canopy. This preserves the characteristic spatial connection between the arcade and the courtyard area. In winter, the forum can be enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glazed sliding elements that run parallel to the arcade.
The independent character of the roof, supported by wooden pillars and illuminated by round skylights, creates a revitalizing tension between the visitor center and the listed old building. The allure of the previously inaccessible courtyard remains evident in its historical layout and is now made accessible to all visitors through its new use.

Competition Honorable Mention, 2023
Client Stiftung Schloss und Park Benrath

Project Management: Simon Banakar
Team: Constanze Knoll, Bastian Gerner, Karl Müller, Julius Dettmers