From pigsty to showroom, this little histroic structure is cleverly reborn
The wit and economy of thinking that informed this design pleased the judges; it is exemplified in the punning description of what has been achieved, turning a pigsty (Sausta) into a showroom (Schausta). The tumble-down 1780 structure had seen better times, and was partly destroyed in the Second World War. lt was reassembled and added to in the intervening period. The original intention behind the commission was to refurbish the structure and upgrade it as a showroom. However, its physical condition made it difficult to finance a thorough upgrade, and a replacement building of the same size was not possible on the site, due to its proximity to a street.
The generic solution, which has a long history in architectural approaches to sensitive ruins, was to place a ‘house within a house’, even if the original had been home for pigs. But how? What should touch what? Could parts of the new structure protect the old, in the way the old walls give extra protection to the new building?
The architect, for reasons of economy and logistics, placed a timber ‘house’, which copied the facade of the original building, inside the stone but without ever touching it, while the showroom roof protects the existing structure. The arbitrariness of the windows now looks fashionable, based as it is on the functional requirements of the pigs and/or the farmer rather than a jokey translation of ordinariness.
Light, colour and warmth transform the building at night; visitors can pry into the gaps between the structures and wonder how it was all done. The new internal life extends the eighteenth century into the twenty-first.
Showroom, Pfalz, Germany
Architect: Fischer Naumann Partnerschaft, Stuttgart
Project team: Stefanie Naumann, Martin Naumann