How do you close architecturally a 10m wide gap between two independent, heritage listed buildings and a city wall in the back? Out of respect for the historical structure we ruled out a classic closed development.
Thus, only the independent, load-bearing settling of a solitaire volume came into question.
Receiving visitors the ground floor is completely glazed. The impression of the urban void between the surrounding historical outer walls between Freiberger Tor and Graben 2 is this retained. A straight staircase with connected elevator for vertical access is arranged across the ticket office. For access to Freiberger Tor the stairs are interrupted with respective landings, thus allowing the local history museum and the mother-of-pearl exhibition to be reached from the central entrance foyer. Disabled access is achieved through the use of a double-sided elevator with exits at split levels.
The stairs and elevator for vertical access have to go all the way up to the start of the exhibition at the roof level of the building at Graben 2.
From the geometrically necessary length of the staircase, a rather narrow, striking, three-storey cubature develops, marking the central entrance area on the ground floor and at the same time acting as a protective area for visitors with its overhang. There are no corners or edges. The soft transitions and the shimmering, closed building skin offer a reserved design as a response to the adjaent heritage buildings, but at the same time signal 'Here is a special place'. The facade motif plays surreal in its appearance and materiality with the museum content of pearls and mother-of-pearl.