ArchitectsHermann & Valentiny and Partners (HVP)
LocationOstengarten 3, 54614 Heisdorf, Germany
Text description provided by the architects. The old castle of Heisdorf, situated in a park with marvelous mature trees, has undergone numerous alterations (extensions) since it was first built in the 19th century. Nevertheless, it was too small and above all could not offer the levels of comfort expected today in a facility of this kind.
HVP approached this work cautiously. They renovated the historic building fabric of the castle, but without visible architectural changes. In contrast, the accumulated extensions were demolished and replaced by a new wing linked to the castle by an elevated glazed connecting element.
The new building is oriented north-south with large glazed loggias (known as “curiosities”) on one side, facing in the direction of the castle and projecting roofed balconies looking onto the park on the other.
Without any doubt, making the new building of exposed concrete was a risk. But the building is so convincingly integrated in the existing fabric – surrounded by a newly designed outdoor area with water, steps to sit upon, paved and carefully planted green areas – that it represents a facility with an extremely high value indeed. A great deal of wood and glass was employed and spaces are flooded with daylight, friendly and warm. Particularly important for the elderly, the residents feel protected yet unrestricted thanks to the openness in many areas, offering a view of everything going on outside.