Kulturnetzwerk Koppelschleuse Meppen
Helter Damm 1
49716 Meppen
Geschäftsführer: Burkhard Sievers
Tel. 0 59 31 - 4 09 97 72
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Koppelschleuse Meppen
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Youth Hostel
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The architectural concept of the Youth hostel and guesthouse for cultural activities

he youth hostel and guesthouse were erected in 2000 as an extension of the Koppelschleuse facilities. The architectural concept of the complex is based on the plans of the renowned Hamburg artist Franz Erhard Walther.

Walther sees the youth hostel and guesthouse for cultural activities as a building with sculptural qualities. He suggests viewing the building as a sculpture. A comparison of the shapes of the bench-like concrete elements in the park and the elongated two-storey guesthouse shows that they have both borrowed from the repertoire of strict geometrical forms. The opposite facades of the two cubic annexes left and right at the front of the main building with its segmented glass extension stand in line with the benches in the park. Walther thus wanted to strengthen the effect of an axis in this segment of the park.

Symmetry is one of the basic principles of form in Walther's shaping of open spaces, which reflects how sensitively the artist takes into consideration the already present buildings in a given area. Apart from the classicist principles of symmetry in analogy to the building of the arts and crafts circle, the clear and simple forms of the two cubes are reminiscent of the architecture of the Bauhaus school. The overall form of the building in the shape of three wings draws parallels to the baroque architecture of palaces.

The concentration on formal simplicity, on discreetly placed three dimensional forms, is a recurrent principle in Walther's architecture and shaping of landscape. In favour of clear forms he forgoes adornments, ornaments and playful elements. These aspects are also to be found in the design of the interior of the guesthouse. Here, too Walther has influenced the materials used, including architectural forms, proportions, colours and light.

Walther's repertoire of forms, developed from seven basic forms, is also reflected in the screen printings exhibited in the main building. Their colour scheme is echoed in the house as such.

The words on the glass fronts of the entrance to the main building stretch like a lyrical ribbon and have been arranged by Walther in different ways.

Walther uses language as an artistic means that can neither be interpreted solely as form nor as exclusively the conveyor of content. Words as part of architecture enable the artist, integrating the viewer, to create new dimensions on the background of past experiences. It is striking that the word fields of room, architecture and time have taken on a central role in this context. Terms, which stand in close connection to the youth hostel and guesthouse and the park surrounding it.