Brückner & Brückner: Der Ort der Begegnung - best architects 07

Brückner & Brückner

Der Ort der Begegnung

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deutsch-tschechiche Grenze


Wolf Kipper


The project called “Ort der Begegnung” tries to focus on the strained relation at the German-Czech border by means of architecture. Place and building complement one another. This building wouldn’t fit in another place. Gently a low mountain range rises towards the frontier. It is called Oberpfälzer Wald (Upper Palatine Forest) by the Bavarians, ceský les (Bohemian Forest) by the Czechs. a natural topographical frontier. Two walls which once were one are divided along the frontier line forming a room like a handshake, a welcoming gesture. Two walls, one made of stone, the other of wood. Larch wood from the Bohemian Forest, Flossenbürg granite from the Upper Palatinate. Each element, the outer side is roughly hewn, the inner side smoothly grinded. Greenish shimmering glass panels more and more dissolve the walls upwards. The room created is oriented to the north, left and right come to symbolize east and west, Germany and the Czech republic. The staggered extensions of both side walls suggest the further course of the frontier line. They form two open spaces oriented to the east or the west together with the two fronts. In the centre we can find a massive table with two chairs. The materials wood and stone meet directly in the layers of the ceiling. They form a central joint, throw a shadow. There is an inscription in the tabletop: German on the one side, Czech on the other. The visitors are confused. They are expected to get involved. If two people of the same nationality meet at the table they notice that one of them is out of place. One seat is always reserved for a partner/interlocutor from the other side of the frontier. If only one person sits at the table, he or she soon realizes his or her national loneliness 

which can only be ended by stepping over the frontier line.