Hambacher Schloss, which once hosted the “National Festival of the Germans”, is a unique symbol of European and German history. The contemporary scheme adopts a cautious strategy in cleaning, opening up and heightening the intensity of the surviving fabric of the building. The interventions aimed to highlight the existing historical structures without significantly altering them, in order to make the connections between different spaces and time periods more clearly legible. The new restaurant building that has been constructed to the south of the complex can be read as a continutation of the historical defensive fortifications. A new visitor centre was constructed on the external encircling wall; its volumes, inspired by the archetypical form of the house, underscore the typology of the adjacent building. The configuration reflects the architectural hierarchy of the castle ensemble: crowned by the castle itself, it unfurls across the inner encircling wall to the outer wall with the visitor centre. The facades incorporate the region's typical yellow Leistädt sandstone, which also features in the surviving structures from the original castle.

For his work on Hambach Castle, Max Dudler received the DAM Prize for Architecture in Germany 2012, an award at the German Architecture Prize 2013, the German Natural Stone Prize 2013 and the Design Prize of the Wüsenrot Foundation in 2014. The visitor house received special recognition at the German Natural Stone Prize 2018.

source: Max Dudler