A New State Archive in Kitzingen, Germany



1st Place – gmp Architekten  Photo: ©Hans-Joachim Wuthenow, Berlin


As part of a policy to relocate archives of local interest outside of major Bavarian cities, a competition was staged for the design of a new archive in Kitzingen, 12 miles from the provincial capital city of Würzburg, Germany. The competition was open to qualified teams in the EU, with 25 firms identified to take part in a competition. Since five firms were preinvited, 20 openings were available for the 79 applicants that vied for participation in the competition. In the end, 23 firms submitted designs for the final adjudication process.


Site and aerial view – courtesy [phase ins] and Stadt Kitzingen


The site, not far from Kitzingen’s city center, was located in a park overlooking the Main River. Because of this location, and the sloping nature of the site, emphasis was placed on context in a wider sense, whereby topography and the overall relationship to the area and with the city in particular had to be taken into account. But all this was assuming that the organization of the of the building itself with its archival storage areas, etc. and a integrated landscape plan met the requirements and expectations of the client.


The ten-member expert jury panelists consisting of architects were:
– Prof. Anne Beer, Architektin, Munich
– Martin Boden-Peroche, Architekt, Dresden
– Prof. Ingrid Burgstaller, Architektin, Munich, Nürnberg
– Prof. Wolfgang Fischer, Architekt, Würzburg
– Ltd. BD Joachim Fuchs, Architekt, Staatl. Bauamt Würzburg
– Andrea Gebhard, Landscape Architect, City Planner, Munich
– Rainer Hofmann, Architekt, Munich
– Prof. Arno Lederer, Architekt, Stuttgart
– Ltd. MR Andreas Muschialik, Architekt, Bavarian State Ministry for Urban Housing, Construction and Transportation, Munich
– Prof. Donata Valentien, Landscape Architect, Munich

The competition was administered by [phase eins], Berlin


After two days of deliberations, the jury settled on a final ranking of the competitors, all of whom were from Germany:

First Prize
• von Gerkan Marg & Partner (gmp), Hamburg with capatti staubach urbane Landschaften, Berlin

Second Prize
• Brückner & Brückner Architekten, Würzburg with realgrün Landschaftsarchitekten, Munich

Third Prize
• Bruno Fioretti Marquez Architekten, Berlin with Atelier Loidl Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin

Fourth Prize

• Heinle, Wischer und Partner, Dresden with UKL Ulrich Krüger Landschaftsarchitekten, Dresden

Honorable Mentions:

• Volker Staab Architekten, Berlin with arc.grün Landschaftsarchitekten Stadtplaner, Kitzingen

• Scheidt Kasprusch Gesellschaft von Architekten, Berlin with Henningsen Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin


Of the five(5) architects who were preselected to take part in the competition, only two enjoyed a ranking in the top six:

Brückner & Brückner Architekten (2nd) and Volker Staab Architekten (HM). Those who were preinvited and did not make it to the final cut but submitted entries were:

Bez + Kock Architekten (Stuttgart); Waechter + Waechter Architekten (Darmstadt); and Enzmann Fischer Partner AG Architekten (Zürich).



1st Place by gmp Architekten  Image: © gmp Generalplanungsgesellschaft


The Decision
The jury found gmp’s approach to the siting and the architectural expression of the building itself to be especially noteworthy. As a large structure on the site, the author’s did not settle on a large monolithic structure which could overwhelm the site, but instead located the various functions in separate, connected modular units, some stacked, some not, and all connected by a  linear structure containing seating for researchers and administration. They also commended the fenestration of the design as very appropriate. If there were any minor issues, such as ceiling heights, they found that those could be easily addressed without any serious changes to the general appearance of the building and not affect the budget. They praised it for its openness and transparency to the public, and regarded it as the best fit for the program.




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Recent Archive Updates






A Paean to its Founders in Weimar

New Bauhaus Museum Commemorates an Anniversary


2012 COMPETITIONS Annual with Weimar Bauhaus Competition WInner Design  Image: ©Heike Hanada

As projected, the Weimar Bauhaus Museum, one of two new Bauhaus museums scheduled to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Germany, has opened its doors in Weimar. The new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, also the product of a competition, is to open in September of this year.

Before my visit to the Weimar museum, opinions about the museum’s design had appeared in various German publications, i.e., Süddeutsche Zeitung, Berliner Tagesspiegel, etc.—one in particular not very flattering. So my arrival in Weimar was filled with much anticipation, especially since we had covered the original competition in some detail in the 2012 COMPETITIONS Annual (above).


Front view of museum from city parcel  Photo: ©Andrew Alberts


What was initially absent from the competition proposal by the project’s author and competition winner, Heike Hanada, was a water feature leading from the street toward the entrance. The basin was not intended simply as an incidental landscape feature, but an integral design feature, focusing the attention from the street toward the museum. Instead one finds paving, the victim of a decision by the client, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, to split the site and stage an additional competition for the new parcel—and not extending an invitation to a member of the winning Hanada team to compete. The resulting design by the winner of the second competiiton, Vogt Landscape Architect of Zürich, completely ignored the Hanada design, instead covering the parcel at the street almost completely with light stone paving and a curious depression. The result? Attention from the street was no longer diverted away from the neighboring Nazi era, Mussolini style neighbor while focusing on the main event, but totally disrupting the harmonious scheme as envisioned by the winning entry. In no way did it suggest an extension of the landscape from the building to the street as an integral design element.

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