Milligan Knight Architects
Hertfordshire based RIBA Chartered Practice
The Square

Korbach Rathaus

We are delighted to have been shortlisted in an international competition for the design of a new Rathaus in the town of Korbach in Germany. Our scheme is not one single building but rather a collection of buildings that are linked by colonnades and subterranean rooms. The new buildings that constitute the proposal, stitch the surrounding urban fabric together; creating new routes and public spaces through and around the site, while also breaking down the bulk and mass of the scheme into smaller elements.

The Square

The Square

The most significant of the new external spaces is a public square in the centre of the site that is flanked on the east by the new Sitzungssaal und Burgermeister buros and to the south by the original historical Rathaus. 

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The Courtyard

The Courtyard

There is a second semi-public courtyard space to the east, which is adjacent to the registry office and the Rathaus socialraum respectively. This courtyard has the potential to be separated completely from the main public square and could be used as a spill-out area for associated events.

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The Vernacular Context

The Vernacular Context

The massing of the site is carefully considered and designed to be as sensitive to the surrounding context as possible. The buildings step down in height with the natural site gradient; limiting their imposition on neighbouring buildings. The proposed buildings are inspired by the local vernacular of pitched roofs and timber frames but offer a contemporary interpretation in both their use of materials and detailing. The resulting architecture is rooted in history but also expresses the technical capabilities of modern construction.

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Modern Interpretation of the Vernacular

Modern Interpretation of the Vernacular

We envisage the scheme to be formed of black timber clad buildings with crisply detailed pitched roofs and windows. The architecture will portray a collection of civic buildings of significance, which resonate with the historic context.

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Public and Private Spaces

Public and Private Spaces

Our proposal is as much to do with creating new public and private space as it is to forming a new building. We felt it was important to create a civic heart to Korbach which people can access, use and inhabit. This is achieved by using several familiar urban features; the public square, courtyard, colonnade and defined streets.

We placed the brief requirements on the site and using massing models moulded the accommodation into form. Using the aforementioned urban features, the massing developed into a series of interconnecting buildings situated around public spaces.

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Dealing with Monument Protection

Dealing with Monument Protection

The proposal carefully integrates the existing protected buildings into the complex. They remain as key assets and enrich the scheme architecturally. The contemporary new buildings seek to complement the older context and utilise them functionally and spatially.

We propose to separate the old Rathaus and celebrate it as part of the new central town square. The northern facade will be revealed again and incorporate new fenestration, which will be historically sensitive but functional.

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