A striking look with fresh colours: When redeveloping the Civic Hall Civic Hall in Marbach, 4a Architekten paid particular attention to giving the building an elegant appearance while maintaining the original identity of its existing fabric – and thereby a piece of history.
The Civic Hall is situated in a small parkway in Marbach am Neckar, the Schillerhöhe, nestling in an ensemble of buildings dating from various periods: The Schiller National Museum (early 20th century.), the German Literature Archive (1970s) and the Museum of Modern Literature (new construction) are located in the immediate vicinity of the Civic Hall, which had exuded all the charm of the 1950s.
In the first stage, modernization required that the building be reduced down to its shell. After the concrete refurbishment, the roof was completely removed and restored, and the entire utilities of the Civic Hall were also replaced in full. In addition, extensive precautionary measures were required in order for the requirements of fire protection and regulations on places of assembly to be met. The existing floor plan therefore needed to be modified in order to make access easier. However, an important part of the necessary redevelopment measures was to minimize any disturbance to the existing building structure. The only structural intervention carried out therefore was in the superstructure of the inner courtyard, the extension of the chair storage room, and the addition of an outside toilet to the building.
Although the structure of the building was left largely intact, the outside appearance of the Civic Hall has changed significantly. In order to optimize the building’s energy consumption, the façade needed to be re-insulated and re-clad. The architects use this to give the Civic Hall a unique face. In particular with regard to it being used as a festival hall, it has been given an elegant outfit – it appears as though dressed in a black suit and shimmering gold waistcoat. To achieve this look, the Civic Hall was clad externally with black fibre-cement panels. Metal fabric in bronze and gold combined with dark, elegant wood produces the lustre needed in the interior. This composition of materials is finished off in stylish colours and typographical stylistic devices elaborated by graphic designers Baumann und Baumann. Both the typeface from Schiller’s time and the numerous quotations by the famous author, each individually adapted to suit its surroundings, give the “Schiller Hall” a very special and characteristic note.
After the reconstruction of the Civic Hall, completed in May 2009, the building’s interior – a large hall with a stage and a restaurant with adjoining rooms – provides an appropriate setting for a diverse range of events. Not only does the building now set a distinctive tone for the city of Marbach but it also sets it up perfectly for Schiller Year 2009.