After a catastrophic fire, the carpentry workshop and biomass power plant serving Mehrerau monastery and its nursing home had to be rebuilt. The surroundings are defined by large, open meadows, forests and the uninterrupted expanse of Lake Constance to the north. The architecture of the existing monastery, including nursing home and residential quarters, influenced the new design. The few original features spared by the fire, such as the emergency power generator and the parts of the biomass system, were the first to be designed into the new building. Aside from economy, perfect spatial organisation of the processes within was an especially important design criterion. The design adopts the monastery’s characteristic closed and semi-open inner courtyards, while also reflecting the assertive proportions of its buildings. The timber construction contrasts with the masonry used elsewhere in the monastery, identifying the new building’s secondary function. The facade is clad in robust vertical timber beams.
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