Sorbian Forum Bautzen

Restricted competition 2023
Client: Stiftung für das Sorbische Volk, Bautzen
Team: Armin Behles, Jasper Jochimsen, Anatol Rettberg, Simon Stahnke
Model: Maquette Berlin

The Sorbian Museum and the public rooms of the Sorbian Institute are located on the property between Lauengraben and Goschwitzstrasse. The generously glazed museum foyer on Lauengraben is emphasized by the recess of the ground floor. From here you can reach the exhibition areas on the upper floors or you can access the event area and the café on the northern long side of the museum courtyard via a glazed hallway on the ground floor. The public passage to Goschwitzstrasse runs parallel to this on the east side of the property. The Sorbian Library and the museum workshops, located along the passage or courtyard, have their own entrances from the museum courtyard. Delivery takes place via the new building from Goschwitzstrasse.

The special exhibition area is located on the first floor in the northern half of the property. The multimedia room, museum education, workshops and other administrative rooms are arranged around the museum courtyard. On the 2nd floor there is the permanent exhibition with the art gallery at Lauengraben, which has particularly high rooms and side skylights, as well as technical rooms.

The rooms of the Sorbian Institute are largely housed in the old buildings on the corner of Äussere Lauenstrasse and Goschwitzstrasse, which are being renovated. In the new building at Outer Lauenstrasse 7, the double-height lecture room is located directly next to the main entrance. Above this there is a large work space under an open roof structure.

The facades of the Sorbian Knowledge Forum are being plastered. Fine plasters are used in old buildings, and coarsely ground wash plasters are used in new buildings. Since no windows are required in the exhibition rooms, the upper floors of the new building facades are largely closed. This is contrasted by fully glazed facade sections on the ground floor and around the museum courtyard. The side skylights of the art gallery have a double-shell all-glass facade through which the incidence of light can be controlled and artificial light can be added. The museum is present in the street space via a glowing “corona”.

Due to the slight offset of the floors from one another, not only the kinks of the roofs, but also those of the floor ceilings stand out as shadow-casting edges on the facades. This creates a constructive ornament that divides the facades like a border, connects closed, opaque and transparent areas and opens up associations with the lace hems of Sorbian traditional costumes.

A uniform brick red covers old and new buildings, walls and roofs. The guiding color creates a connection between the spatially separated areas of the Sorbian Institute and the Sorbian Museum. Precisely because it unifies, “All Over” also has a alienating effect and draws attention to the differences between components, functions and time layers.

In order to be able to offer exhibition and event rooms that can be used flexibly, wide-ranging, prefabricated prestressed concrete ceilings and roofs are used, the performance of which is optimized by kinks. These kinks structure the rooms, improve the acoustics and provide space for installations and light. The outer walls of the new buildings are made of perforated porous bricks.