The landscape architectural task for the new entrance of Hambach Castle is multi-layered: barrier-free development of the grounds, squares, alleys and shield walls, controlled access situation, tourist marketing possibilities with a new restaurant building and the vision of a total work of art in the castle park.
In 1832, Hambach Castle became the “cradle of German democracy” (Theodor Heuß) and a demonstration for national unity and freedom. Today, Hambach Castle is a venue for exhibitions, various concerts, lectures, conferences and much more. The castle complex itself and the castle hill are defined by their historical significance and their natural location in the biosphere reserve. The castle’s exposed topographical position on the rocky spur of a red sandstone formation and the significance of the area as an architectural monument and birthplace of German democracy require a holistic view of the genius loci.
In the course of an international competition LOMA was selected for the redesign of the outdoor facilities: especially the design definition and connection of the entrée situation with the different topographical levels and plateaus tipped the scales for the success of the design. In the course of the planning, the joint venture LOMA / RBL was founded in order to guarantee a qualitative implementation of the complex project with high attention to detail and technical requirements in all service phases. The entire project was realized in stages.
An important aspect of the planning measures was the handling of the found time layers and the “making readable” of the historically different, stone components. The castle complex represents a synthesis of the arts made of stone that has grown over the centuries. In order to continue this “success story”, the aim was to use natural stone for as many components as possible: Natural stone in elegance and precision on the level of the panorama square, natural stone in its roughness and originality in the middle ruin path, and natural stone in broken grain on the historic “freedom path” through the castle park. All used natural stones were compellingly from Rhineland-Palatinate – and if possible locally obtained.
The new PANORAMAPLATZ forms the center and the upper end of the complex. In southern and western direction a grandiose panoramic view over the expanse of the Rhine plain is opened by the setting of the stone outer edges. A generous ramp system leads barrier-free down to the second level of the restaurant terrace. The calm stringency of the “stone parquet” binds together the natural stone surfaces and forms of the coarse overlying rock, the rough medieval shield wall, the massive 19th century humpback ashlar masonry and the façade of the new building. The location of the historic Voit’s porch was subtly incorporated into the natural stone parquetry. The RUINENWEG connects the ruined structures (watchtowers, former stables and wine press house) along the outer ring wall and places value on these forgotten relics through the “stone carpet”. The space is expanded through the layering of the various pavement bands, and the curved shield wall is visually emphasized and dynamized in its oscillation. The choice of materials and the design work with the guiding principle of the use of natural stone in archaic and traditional techniques in a historical context and form a counterpoint to the precision of the “Stone Carpet”.
Construction manager: Riehl Bauermann + Partner
Project location: Weinstraße, Neustadt – Hambach, Germany
Design year: 2004-2005
Year Built: since 2006
Photos: Nikolai Benner