Schloss Freudenfels, Eschenz

Schloss Freudenfels, Fischer Architekten AG

Situated on a site above Eschenz in Canton Thurgau, Schloss Freudenfels offers a view across a landscape that slopes down to Lake Constance. Protected as a heritage site, the complex around the former defence tower is a heterogeneous system that reflects changes made over the course of time. The functional buildings are perceived as fragments that reflect the history of the place through their dialogue.

Today this former defensive complex is used as a seminar hotel and to host smaller events. The study presents an extension to the complex in the form of a pavilion building intended to serve as a restaurant facility for the hotel. The aim of the extension is to adapt the infrastructure to meet current needs, in the process the operational organisation of the facility is questioned. Harmonious integration and the way in which the existing buildings are handled here are attached central importance.

The volume is positioned on the site above the existing rose garden. This continues the terracing and creates a connection to this garden, which was previously somewhat peripheral, and integrates it in the new part of the complex. By means of a slight swivel the ensemble deliberately turns away from the axis of the Schloss. The view is directed into the expansive landscape.

While the proposal for this project makes use of the repertoire of vernacular functional buildings, it is decidedly independent in architectural terms. The volume is divided into two parts: a light pavilion structure rests like a lantern on a plinth. The plinth, which makes a weighty impression, is cut into the slope at the level of the garden, while towards the road it forms a back for the building. It is understood as a continuation of the terrain and its materialisation strives to relate to the terracing of the ornamental garden.

In contrast, a lightweight wood and glass construction is proposed for the pavilion building. The column grid chosen allows the dining room to be used flexibly. Thanks to a circulation layer it can host events of very different kinds. The single pitch roof that appears to hover above it emphasises the lightness of the construction and its expression echoes the structure of the surrounding roofs.

To further strengthen the relationship to the place, it is suggested that the ornamental rose garden be replaced by a new kitchen garden. This would allow the restaurant to offer a cuisine that is both fresh and seasonal. From the raised terrace that is an extension to the dining room one’s gaze can roam across the planted vegetables and in continuing down to the valley brushes the historical defence tower.

Schlossweg, 8264 Eschenz, Switzerland
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Task New building with restaurant, kitchen, and servant spaces
Job type Planner selection procedure
Time period 2022–2023
Challenge Conservation issues, relationship to the Schloss
Fischer Architekten AG