longhouse-inspired 'biodiversum' visitor center blends into a nature reserve in luxembourg

longhouse-inspired 'biodiversum' visitor center blends into a nature reserve in luxembourg

combining an elaborate timber construction with an organic form, VALENTINY hvp architects has designed the ‘biodiversum’ information center for a natural reserve at the border between luxembourg, france and germany. the building is part museum and part educational institution that covers questions about ecology and the reserve. with a variety of exhibitions, the project aims to inform both children and adults about the conservation of nature and the environment.

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

all images by brigida gonzalves

 

 

built on a small peninsula, the shape of biodiversum is inspired by the ancient celts who once lived in the region and their longhouse dwellings. looking like an upside-down boat, the structure uses a douglas fir timber frame and a ferroconcrete subconstruction. the carcass of the shell-shaped framework was assembled by hand, with board after board mounted individually. the façade covering consists of untreated and rough-cut alaskan cedar shingles. this cladding, together with the organic shape of the longhouse, gives the architecture its character.

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

 

 

the building contains exhibition areas on three floors: basement, first, and second floor. visitors enter on the first floor where they are welcomed at the reception desk. from here, the tour starts with five big topics: ecology, ancient history, winegrowing, touring exhibitions and the nature reserve in the tripoint of luxembourg-germany-france. two staircases lead upstairs, and downstairs to the basement, accompanied by a disability-friendly elevator. the basement is also accessible from the outside via the landing stage.

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

 

 

the floor plan of the center widens conically over a length of about 60m. the land-facing elevation forms the entrance and measures about 13.50m wide. on the other hand, the water-facing elevation measures 17m. the ridge also runs at an angle and falls from 15m to 8m at the entrance. the bevelled gables of the building are completely glazed with vertical windows. along with the 15 inverted triangle dormers, they bathe the warm, wooden interior in natural light. 

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

valentiny-hvp-architects-biodiversum-nature-reserve-luxembourg-designboom-1800-2

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

VALENTINY hvp designs 'biodiversum' for nature reserve in luxembourg designboom

longhouse-inspired 'biodiversum' visitor center blends into a nature reserve in luxembourg

longhouse-inspired 'biodiversum' visitor center blends into a nature reserve in luxembourg

valentiny-hvp-architects-biodiversum-nature-reserve-luxembourg-designboom-1800-3

longhouse-inspired 'biodiversum' visitor center blends into a nature reserve in luxembourg

 

 

project info:

 

project name: biodiversum remerschen

program: information and visitor center

location: remerschen, luxemburg

owner: ministry of sustainable development and infrastructure administration of public buildings

architects: VALENTINY hvp architects, GG kirchner (project management), vera schülke, oliver arenz

planning of structural construction: SGI ingénierie SA luxembourg, SGI philip waldmann, steffen holzbau S.A.

timber construction: BCN bois consult natterer SA ingenieur SIA,

in cooperation with: julius natterer, FH trier, prof. dr. wieland becker, P.H.I.P international S.A.R.L

other partners: sopinor, steffen holzbau, annen, parkett böhm, kone aufzug, arendt, climalux, elektro godart, electro tech, altwies, schreinerei werel, benedikt schwartz, firma stoll

design: VALENTINY hvp architects, oliver arenz, GG kirchner

construction period: april 2011 – december 2015

opening: june 2016

cost: €5,700,000

photography: brigida gonzalves

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