in the german city of tübingen, dannien roller architekten introduces an architectural bridge between the past and present. the project marks the renovation of a residential and commercial building with a contemporary workspace extension, all situated within a city which dates back to the 12th century and is home to one of europe’s largest universities. this pre-existing heritage building is sited within the city center and is defined by its neoclassical style. in celebration of the rich historical layers of its context, the design team preserves the existing structure and presents a contemporary, single story extension which integrates respectfully into the urban fabric.
images by dietmar strauß
dannien roller architekten + partner fronts its renovation in tübingen with facade of large timber-framed windows and minimal detailing. upon entering, visitors are received by a light-filled reception area interlaced with these apertures offering glimpses of different levels in the open office landscape. the floor slab of the existing building is lowered to create a mezzanine which houses technical equipment and bathrooms. the new building, which is programmed primarily with archives and workspaces, is expressed with a simple aesthetic of exposed masonry. this minimal expression echoes that of the heritage building, whose interior is expressed with unfinished, solid-colored plaster.
the team at dannien roller architekten forms its extension in tübingen as a faceted volume. with its contemporary architectural language, the angled new structure serves to contrast with the rear face of the old building. at the same time it forms a natural and integral element of the existing topography. it is organized in plan with an open inner courtyard, emulating a typical element of the tübingen urban fabric. the subdued tones of the unfinished plaster match the natural stone walls which define the area while the green roofscape and tiers contrast with the sculptural building structure, respectfully embedded into terraced slope along the river.