03 Team Karlsruhe

Architects contest | 03 Team Karlsruhe

03 Team Karlsruhe- DE

Description: Franz Holzapfel, Karlsruhe

The design’s approach:

The design in the first part develops itself formally and searches for an exciting dialogue with the property. The new building sculpturally develops itself in the model and the drawings. In a further revised version produces functional self-sufficiency through the arrangement of space in the development and through a complex integration of the different areas of use.

The location and elevation of the new building

In the middle of the new building is the gompa. The orientation of the gompa with its 4m high statue with a view into the courtyard will be set at level 809 NN. The gompa stretches out over 3 floors. Inside there is an arched ceiling, which takes care of the tasks of formality and acoustics. The new gompa generously opens itself to an arcade in the inner courtyard (extension area). The main entrance to the gompa is on the same level as the arcade on the side and is reached through the foyer.

The foyer serves as a connector. Half in the basement and half two storied the foyer will be illuminated from above with the aid of large windows. Open steps connect the foyer with the upper floors of the new building. In addition you can reach the barn with the aid of a staircase. On level 809 NN is the cellar area (resulting from the hillside situation) with all the necessary adjoining rooms.

An additional main entrance is reached over the terrace 812 NN in the two storey foyer of the new building. From there you can reach the gompa down below or on the upper floor the seminar rooms, studios and library etc.

An architectural response of the new building to the existing structure is the arcade. The arcade of the new building in front of the gompa gives the effect of a togetherness of all the buildings in the square inner courtyard.

The existing wall between the barn and the icehouse will be torn down and the new building will follow its lines with the gompa’s glass façade. The preset and overbuilt arcade springs into the courtyard and establishes a new alignment with the west side of the icehouse and the protrusion of the barn.

Looking from the inner courtyard the perspective between the barn and the new gompa as well as between the icehouse and the new gompa will become an extension of the courtyard area.

New areas around the ice cellar

The usage of the ice cellar as well as the listed building architecture should achieve a new dynamic. The envisaged use of the icehouse, which is the jewel in the crown, comes across as a traditional “prayer mill”, wish fulfilling for the happiness of all beings. The icehouse gives a central meaning for all and embeds the activity of the courtyard in the locality of level 809. Between the new building and the icehouse a new wall will be built that leads to a small square “Bellevue”. Here will be Karmapa’s house. On the ground floor is a seminar room, on the first upper floor 3 guest rooms also used as monk’s quarters and on the second upper floor is living space for Karmapa.

A large panoramic window offers a diagonal view out of the gompa over the square and into the distant landscape. The annex (Karmapa’s house) is formed like a gate. The distance between the new buildings and the icehouse is planned so that there is plenty of energy but a respectful relationship with the property.

Between the barn and new building

In the North on level 812 NN is a large terrace that also has a cellar (adjoining room of the new building) This will be bolstered with a floating stirrup (creative corner first upper level). The gompa can be reached from this location by either going through the courtyard and out of the barn or through the foyer.  It connects the bordering land behind the barn (North-East ) with the buildings. The meadow plateau can at courses be used as a central point for catering.

The terrace is partly covered and in summer gets sun as well as shade. The floating stirrup is fixed into the upper floor of the barn. The floating stirrup achieves the necessary openness on the level 812 NN and secures an architectural cohesiveness of the whole ensemble.

The direct connection between the barn and new building will be by means of a stairway that will be constructed in the former chicken house. Therefore you are able to reach the foyer on the lower floor either through the dining room or out of the upper level of the barn. A necessary building measure is to underpin the barn in the area of the stairway. This offers the possibility of closer walkways and to meet the requirements of the listed building protection laws. There is in this area no visible annexe.


The language of the architecture is concise and modern. Open space and clear geometry are the methods used in order to find a respectful position for the new building and also the present structures. Details in the windows achieve a dynamic playfulness. The façade to the east forms the backbone of the new building. A horizontal structure emphasises the slope of the building.

Regina Brendel, Architect

Franz Holzapfel, Architect

Frank Rogner, Traffic Planer