In the middle of the historic town of Siegen, two bunkers which served to protect the citizens during World War II are now to be used as an extension of the Siegerland museum, located in a castle nearby. The aim is to create a contemporary place of culture and interaction for the citizens of Siegen while still attracting people from the outside.
The bunkers are located in an exposed area of Siegen near the castle with a view on the surrounding valleys, but also in an area that is not frequented by passing pedestrians due to the loss of importance of the upper town.
The proposal envisages a restructuring of the tattered outside space in the direction of Burgstrasse, which, through the reorganization of the parking spaces and the green spaces, is creating a large area that will serve as a museum square in the future. The current path towards Lämmergasse is being maintained and strengthened by the creation of a plateau with benches and space for art installations.
Both bunkers are being gutted in order to restructure the currently restricted space conditions in favor of a space that is appropriate for a museum use. A sculptural body, which is composed of the different areas of the functions and sits between the massive bunker walls, defines the new interiors, includes the foyer, access, special exhibition, and ends in the roof structure, which houses the café and a multifunctional room.
The visitor enters the museum and the sculpture through the foyer in the bigger bunker, which creates a visual connection between the museum square and the Lämmergasse through large openings and defines the new entrance of the museum to the square.
If necessary, the entrances to the museum areas can be closed, and separate access to the learning workshop and multifunctional room located in the attic can be guaranteed.
From the foyer, the visitor can either step into the permanent exhibition in the basement or reach the special exhibition on the first floor.
The smaller bunker is primarily hollowed out on the inside, whereas the larger structure is constructed according to the “house in house” principle. The solid outer shell of the two buildings is basically left unchanged statically. In the two building volumes, individual openings are cut into the 1.10 m solid walls and the 1.40 m thick reinforced concrete roof in a way that the basic structural effect remains unchanged to the foundation level.