shortlisted project

Nothing lasts forever. Reactivation of disused service buildings on agricultural farms

by Mathias Duffner from HTWG Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Germany
Tutored by: Lydia Haack

Author comments:

The altering needs of society and the resulting technical advances have constantly been changing agriculture during the last centuries. This change towards a more industrially designed production entails structural changes and vacancies of buildings. My idea is to draw attention to existing, maybe almost forgotten buildings and their potential.
The farmers of the Sommerhalden Farm in the Black Forest take this path as well, they also do have disused buildings. With my alterations I will breathe new life into this ensemble of buildings. The fact that there are buildings already under ground inspired me to develop this “excavation”. It was my aim to change the scenery as little as possible. The construction field is limited in the south by the agricultural road and in the north by the turning area of the farm. The whole complex is divided into three parts. The three round see silos in the first place, followed by the new „Vesperhaus“ and last but not least, north of it the accommodations. Adjacent to the silos is the Vesperhaus in the east; regarding the west it was important to me not to build beyond the borders of the former buildings. In the long run I see this reuse as a starting point for developing more empty agricultural buildings along the different hiking trails in the area. These are being included as accommodations on a hiking path. A circular route as close as possible to tradition and culture of the Black Forest.

Tutor comments:

Agricultural storage facilities have become a typical part of today’s cultural landscape. Their very unique appearance is both repellent and fascinating at the same time. A rugged ‚bunker silo’ acted as a catalyst for further development and revived an existing farmyard to become both, a highly functional and genuine building complex. Without romanticising the past, the project demonstrates how Architecture can be an impetus towards new development, and also answer some of today’s most pressing problems concerning rural depopulation.
The result is a scheme that refers to the landscapes distinctive character free of preoccupation to design and form. The authentic and empathic project is a statement for identity but also for refreshment and renewal.

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