The historical building ensemble of the Frohnau hammer mill with the associated manor house is nestled in the topographically attractive landscape of the Ore Mountains, on the banks of the Sehma.
The planned construction of a new visitor center is intended to give the ensemble a new address and to bring the museum content together in a coherent manner. The placement of a spatial sculpture in the mountain, with an access at street level, was the obvious choice in order to meet all functional requirements for the new building, At this central location between the two existing buildings, the shortest paths, a barrier-free development of gastronomy and a museum tour in the manor house, as well as a coherent museum concept can be realised in the most sustainable way. The conceptual design idea was the construction of a link between the manor house and the hammer mill, which is consistently restrained in its external appearance and is not perceived as the classic urban extension.
Two roofed entrance areas, cut deep into a retaining wall, open up from the pedestrian perspective both to the east and to the south-west. In the style of mine tunnel entrances, the visitor enters a reception and tiecket counter area. From here the tour begins with the ascent to the first floor level of the permanent exhibition. Deep, massive wall niches with partial artificial lighting support the staging of montane theme worlds. On the second level of the new building, the visitor 'breaks through' the mountain and experiences the historic site from an elevated position with an impressive all-round view of the hammer mill, the manor house and the adjacent landscape. From a museum point of view, temporary exhibitions, museum education events as well as lectures and events can be realized here. A floor-to-ceiling glass façade gives visitors a panoramic view of the historical ensemble in the Sehmatal. As a 'Hammer view', this itself becomes part of the new museum concept and a formative experience for the visitor.