Paläon Forschungs- und Erlebniszentrum Schöniger Speere, Schöningen

Windows in history: The Palaion in Schöningen

As a landmark, the monolithic appearance of the Palaion structure lies in an open space. Designed by Holzer Kobler architects, the futuristic research and experience centre that attracts the attention marks the significance of the location as an archaeological site and its cultural scientific value to the region. An impressive space in which the oldest preserved hunting weapons in human history - discovered as a result of the nearby open brown coal extraction – can be discovered on three levels by interested visitors.

The imposing design combines a contemporary exhibition design, which does justice to the importance of the finds, with the architectural staging of the location. The smooth, reflective, metal elements of the outer skin reflect nature nearby and allows the structure to melt into it, depending on the perspective. The world of colour and shape in the surroundings becomes a planned part of the façade design. Generous, flush window recesses with dark blue glass break up the consciously selected rising striped design of the aluminium composite panels. Together they become a reminiscence of the structures of geological stratification.

In the interior, the secret of the expressive appearance of the banks of windows is revealed: Staged, generous views of the sweeping woods and the pit of the brown coal mine are here a part of the exhibition and allow the visitor to create a direct relationship between the exhibits, where they were found and the living space of Palaeolithic people. The clever way angles are used in the floor plans provides opportunities for exciting moments of surprise while exploring the exhibition.

The heart of the research and experience centre is revealed immediately after entering the buildings: the representative, three-storey foyer area where all lines of sight into the external area are connected centrally with each other. It uses an inviting gesture to offer an initial orientation in the building and access to the tour of the exhibition. The multimedia exhibition concept, integrated in modern room installations, mediates a multifaceted picture of stone-age life and its culture. The electrical installation by JUNG in the classic LS 990 switch design sets clear, purist accents in pure white. With its high quality and clear shape, the LS 990 switch range has proved its worth for more than 40 years. The classic form of this switch with its narrow frame fits harmoniously into any surroundings.
Pictures: Henrik Schipper

Used Designs and technologies