riba awards

European Hansemuseum




European Hansemuseum_WebImage_Werner_Huthmacher_1 

ARCHITECT: Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers

CLIENT: Europäisches Hansemuseum Lübeck gGmbH

AWARDS WON: RIBA AWARD for International Excellence 

Located on a sloping site in the north of Lubeck’s old town - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, fronting the riverside road An der Untertrave and the River Trave and adjacent to the quayside area, The European Hansemusem, provides not only for the conversion, rehabilitation and restoration of the historic Lübeck Castle Friary and its grounds for public use, but for the creation of an impressive, new, architectural presence serving as a catalyst to further regeneration of the former docks area and providing a major cultural resource for the local and wider communities and for visitors from far and wide. 

Studio Andreas Heller’s design for this complex site unifies the diverse series of historic buildings and open spaces that have had many uses across the centuries, including Dominican Friary, almshousing, hospital, law-court and remand-prison, and provides an attractive pedestrian network linking the An Der Untertrave at low level, adjacent to the river, and the Grosse Burgstrasse at high level, leading north-eastwards to the mediaeval Burgtor. 

The new building occupies the entirety of the eastern part of the site and rises from street level along the quayside upwards through three levels to the level of the historic open spaces serving the former Lübeck Castle Friary. Importantly, as well as bringing the history of the Hanseatic League to life for visitors and explaining the continuing relevance of the Hanseatic League to the historic trading cities located on or close to the North Sea and the Baltic centred on Lübeck, the museum provides for the re-use and presentation of the buildings comprising the former Friary and a fully accessible display of the archaeological remains that underpin the former abbey buildings and the city fortifications across 1200 years. Full access for those with ambulant and other disabilities is provided throughout the development.  

The stepped, pedestrian route at street level to the open spaces at high level, and serves the principal public entrance to the museum at an intermediate level, divides the new complex into two distinct parts from the intermediate level upwards. That to the north containing an event hall and ancillary facilities, and that to the south containing the entrance foyer and museum shop, the entrance to the archaeological display, the museum restaurant and kitchen, and the museum administration. Terraces for open-air café and other uses overlooking the river are provided at the higher level. 

The extensive, above-ground parts of the new development are generally faced in beautiful, hand-made Petersen Tegel bricks, laid with thick, white pointing, with the occasional brick face, deliberately off-set at a slight angle, providing increased textural interest. Other areas, mostly at high level, are finished in impeccably smooth-finish, in-situ, white concrete, or in bronze and clear glass. 

Whilst all the new work, including the landscaping, the street-furniture and the external and internal signing is distinctly modern in character and detail, it relates with particular sensitivity to the historic settings at each level. The treatment of the external spaces and the new elements of the complex where they break into the surviving parts of the above-ground historic buildings is particularly imaginative.  

Altogether, the European Hansemuseum complex is not only an outstanding work of contemporary architecture and museum design, but importantly, it makes a major and beneficial contribution to the regeneration of the urban fabric of this most interesting part of historic town of Lübeck.




Static bored pile wall: WTM Engineers, Hamburg
Fire Protection: HAHN Consult, Hamburg
Energy Planning: KAplus, Eckernförde 

Lighting Design: Andreas Heller Architects & Designers with Peter Andres Lichtplanung

Technical Equipment: Schlüter + Thomsen, Neumünster

Building physics Castle Friary: Transsolar

Exhibition Design: Andreas Heller Architects & Designers

Acoustic Engineers: Lärmkontor


COST: confidential
Date Of Occupation - 05/2015


PHOTOGRAPHER: Werner Huthmacher

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