Brückner & Brückner
A place of encounter / Reconstruction and modernisation of the Johannisthal House
best architects 17
Windischeschenbach / Germany
A place in the midst of nature, with a dynamic topography – the majestic forest – flowing water – the wind tenderly stroking the meadows – the light is soft – all is silent. Houses tell their story: 1848: Two buildings are erected, water is used for grinding glass. 1948: One hundred years later, people come, seeking contemplation. The glass grinding shop becomes a retreat. 1960s and 70s: More houses are built. 2007: The potential of the unique setting is rediscovered. A place is to be created that makes enriching encounters possible. Encounters with God – encounters with others – encounters with nature – encounters with oneself ... These associations and the question »What wants to be here?« form the fertile soil for the future. The goal is to water that soil and see what the earth gives birth to in this place. Just like a plant – this is how the new buildings are to emerge and the old transform themselves and reflect back on their roots. What now arises has respect for the location: volumes are removed – new ones arise – houses are grouped around a centre. A free space is left at the heart of the setting; the chapel reflects the Christian character. A house of dialogue – a house of shared meals – two houses of peace. The materials used – stone, wood, plaster and glass – bespeak tradition and craftsmanship and engage in a dialogue with nature. Encounters occur.