Visitor Center Grube Messel by Holzer Kobler Architekturen, photo by Jan Bitter
For almost 100 years oil shale was mined in the Messel Pit near Darmstadt in central Germany. Here very well preserved fossils were found again and again in the course of mining operations. After the mine was closed in 1971 it turned – due to the great number of fossils that it contains – into an archaeological excavation and was placed under UNESCO protection as a World Heritage Site. The Zurich based practice Holzer Kobler Architekturen recently completed the scenography and interior design for the Visitors Center of the exhibition.
Visitor Center Nebra Ark by Holzer Kobler Architekturen
The Nebra Sky Disc is the oldest known visual representation of the cosmos – a unique testimony to the cultural history of central Europe. Since it was discovered in Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt/Germany in 2002, the bronze Sky Disc has been the focus of attention from all over the world. Nebra Ark – the multimedia visitors’ centre and the Oberservation Tower near the site where the find was made – pays tribute to the great cultural and historical significance of this unique artefact. It was designed by the Swiss architects Holzer Kobler Architekturen.
Visitors' Center Nebra Ark by Holzer Kobler Architekturen
Here is what the Architects explain:
The emblematic architecture of the Nebra Ark embeds the history of the sky disc into its place of discovery. The golden cladding of the Visitor Center echoes the “solar bark”, one of the motifs depicted on the Sky Disc. The volume of the building is divided into three horizontal bodies. The middle section, between the foundation that appears to be thrust out of the landscape and the golden body towering above, forms a transparent entrance area from where the visitors enter the building at ground level. The core of the Nebra Ark, its luminescent body, floats above the entrance area and points to the 30-meter-high observation tower that marks the site where the disc was discovered. Leaning slightly to one side, the tower has been designed as the pointer of a giant sundial. A permanent exhibition, designed as well by Holzer Kobler Architekturen, provides information about the site and the historical background of the Sky Disc.
Oberservation Tower by Holzer Kobler Architekturen
View from the Oberservation Tower, by Holzer Kobler Architekturen
to the Holzer Kobler Architekturen website