Erbar Mattes

Erbar Mattes

London, GB


Frohnauer Hammer

Museum & Visitor Centre

The Erzgebirge mountain region in Saxony and the adjacent Czech Republic is famous for its early mining industry and is currently seeking Unesco world heritage status for 85 of its most significant sites. One of them is the Frohnauer Hammer, a former mill dating back to the 14th century, where silver coins and ornamental ironmongery were fabricated using water powered hammers. This unique building survived centuries without major alterations and the hammers can still be seen in action, attracting many visitors.

The brief asked for a unifying landscape masterplan improving the experience and accessibility of the sites around the Hammer, the old Master's House and a new visitor centre and museum. The position of the museum was chosen to create an entrance square and a raised museum garden from where views onto the historic buildings and the landscape can be enjoyed. Some of the functions are hidden in a plinth, making the main building look smaller. The primary space for exhibition and functions is located on top of the plinth. It enjoys views in all directions and access to the garden. The whole building is clad in untreated, rough-sawn larch wood planks and shingles.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany