Archaeological excavation means securing evidence. Excavation means researching for evidence of past times which has been preserved in the ground and is embedded in geological layers. During an excavation these layers are carefully documented and divided into archaeological horizons. Ideally, younger ones have been deposited over older layers and the finds embedded in the uppermost layers are the most recent. In this sense, the current situation on site is another archaeological horizon that needs to be documented or preserved. Since in contemporary archaeology it is preferable to leave the finds in the place where most contextual information is stored, this careful handling of features and finds should also be the guiding principle for the architectural and didactic approach of our project submission.
It is therefore the intention of our intervention to improve the existing building fabric in its context with the greatest possible respect and to treat the installation by the artist duo Petruschka and Hannes Vogel as a further archaeological horizon, which is to be visibly preserved in our project, but made more accessible and clearly structured in didactic terms.
Once the preservation of the earth windows has been decided, the practical demands on the project must now be addressed. In doing so, the insight into the earth windows must be improved or, as in the case of the rear earth window, radically redesigned.
As a first measure, we decided to replace the existing, highly reflective glazing of the two ground windows in the front area near Rittergasse with a light, open pavilion roof, to slightly lower the terrain between the ground windows and to newly protect the ground windows with the archaeological sites by vertical glazing. The lowering of the terrain helps to "dive" deeper into them and the glazing also guarantees colour fastness and fall protection through its technical specifications. In order to provide a good view of the ground windows, the vertical glasses, offset inwards, are embedded in newly designed cast-iron covers of the existing wall crowns. At the top, the glazing is inserted into the roof soffit in such a way that air circulation is ensured.
Harry Gugger Studio
Bellprat Partenrs AG