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Freising Diocesan Museum

The project’s site owes its character to its location among historic buildings, dating from 1870, atop the Domberg (“cathedral hill”) plateau. The combined effect of this topography and the almost impermeable arrangement of buildings around the complex historically served to give the religious functions a certain separation from the urban bustle. The elevation opens the building to views in all directions, although some have already been partly obstructed by later buildings. The reimagined Diocesan Museum can operate autonomously within the existing ensemble, while providing a landmark to fill a gap in the urban structure at the Domberg’s western end. Targeted, acupuncture-like interventions subtly encourage a dialogue with the urban setting and the gradual opening of the complex to the outside. The concept is characterised by a light touch: minimal interventions so that the listed existing building can be retained almost in its entirety. The reinforcement of the museum as an autonomous structure necessitates the removal of a privy tower added in 1876. This first opening gesture creates a new view axis across the old town’s roofscape, while also opening the surrounding public spaces for recreation and triggering the museum’s reinvention. The addition of a viewing platform above the apse serves as a recognisable beacon towards the city core and surroundings. Within the building, a few judicious adjustments achieve the project’s complex brief without compromising the historic substance.

Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Michael Mayer, Miriam Gruppe, Daniela Miller
Client: The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Competition 2015