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Stiefenhofen House of Herbs

The surrounding mountainscape in the Allgäu area of southern Germany defines the setting for a museum of local herbs. The site itself is currently dominated by a single main building aligned north-south, encircled by a cluster of auxiliary structures, all of which are constructed primarily in timber.  The new building sits as a clear but harmonious response to this seemingly disordered setting.  By placing the new museum parallel to, but not directly alongside, the current main building across the street, it brings the entire herb garden together as a single ensemble. The scattered buildings are further integrated by the landscaping scheme, which uses precisely designed outdoor areas to tie the interiors together.
An abstracted blossom or seedling provided the shape of the museum building, composed of four similarly-sized volumes around a central core. Inside, the arrangement of rooms and the movement between them evokes the form of a snail’s shell. Separating the internal spaces from the central core creates a sequence of spaces with differing heights, views and light. A terrace above the core offers unencumbered views in all directions and can be used as a sun deck or hunting stand. Each roof surface is treated as a separate flowerbed and planted differently depending on the season.
A pure timber system has been developed for the museum: simple wooden cassettes for the walls, solid elements for the floors and a shingles for the facades. In keeping with the regional tradition, local, untreated Silver Fir has been used exclusively.

Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Martin Ladinger [PL], Thomas Marte, Markus Cukrowicz
Client: Artemisia Allgäuer Kräutergarten
Concept 2004, not realised