By the end of 2007, the regional authority and the city Oberhausen announced a bounded competition. The archaeological excavations of St Antony have been realized to make the region accessible to the first blast furnace of the Ruhr. The competition challenge implied to protect these archaeological excavations by a weather barrier and, furthermore, make them tangible by a footbridge. February 2008, the jury advised to arrange the architects awarded by the first prize, Ahlbrecht Felix Scheidt Kasprusch in cooperation with the engineering office Schülke und Wiesmann with further planning.
Innovation Past and Present
In the 18th and 19th centuries St. Antony’s ironwork manufactured cast iron products of outstanding quality. This spirit of dealing with metal was the basic concept for the choise of material for the new roof structure. The roof-shell covers the excavation and essential parts of the archaeological finds.
Communicating Industrial Archaeology
The eastern or western end enables the visitors to enter the site. Two platforms also collect larger groups and brief on the place’s history. The footbridge made of steel with glass parapets is arranged 80 centimeters above the excavation. Alternately, the bridge is supported by many pillars, which hold essential informations about the place of discovery as well as the illumination.
Shelter and Focus
The roofing proceeds by a rib-like shell-structure made of galvanized sheet steel. Its evident geometrical shape and minimal structure focus on the most central theme. The large-scale structure of the roof is a visual character for a special place – the cradle of the Ruhr merge.