• 9/23/2016

TUM Science and Study Center: award for restoration of the prelate’s wing

Bavarian Monument Preservation Prize for Raitenhaslach Monastery

The restoration of the late-baroque Raitenhaslach monastery has been awarded the gold medal for the Bavarian Monument Preservation Prize. Burghausen municipality and the Technical University Munich (TUM) carefully reinforced this important cultural asset while setting up the new TUM Science and Study Center. Prior to this, engineers and monument experts of TUM spent several years analyzing the building and establishing a basis for restoration efforts.

papal room
The Cistercians had built an extraordinary suspension construction behind the wall of the papal room, which had to be repaired. (Image: Heddergott / TUM)

The Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers and the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege) awarded the gold medal to the Raitenhaslach monastery in the category “Public Buildings”. “In addition to restorative measures, the support structure required extraordinary engineering work for the preservation of the monument,” the jury stated in its justification for the selection. “The supplementary construction elements chosen on the basis of a preliminary study done by the TUM were brilliantly incorporated into the existing structure.”

Especially impressive were “the very well-designed addition of the access wing with its sleek forms, the reinforcement of the ceiling construction with beams between the false ceiling and the actual structural level ceiling, and with the highlight being the nearly invisible reinforcement of the suspension construction for the richly painted wall in the 'papal room'.”

Late-baroque windows, paintings, and roof tiles preserved

The so-called prelate’s wing of the Cistercian monastery was privately owned for 200 years. When the Burghausen municipality purchased the building at auction in 2003, it became clear that hardly any other late-baroque building in Bavaria has survived so fully in its original state, from the floor to the windows through to the wall, ceiling paintings, and roofing. As it turned out, however, the building's support structure was severely damaged. For example, the mostly wooden anchor bolts in the ceiling between the ground floor and stately ceremonial hall that held the outer walls together were decayed to the point that the walls were threatening to fall outward.

Now the trick was to repair and preserve the historically and culturally significant original substance of the building without historic replicas and to shore it up for sensible use without modern mechanisms being overtly noticeable. Upon the suggestion of TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann, architects, civil engineers, and monument researchers from five TUM departments spent several years analyzing every single structural component of the prelate’s wing, which was completed in 1764, and put together a usage concept for an academic center that opened in June of this year. The entire renovation cost about 20 million euros, with the Free State of Bavaria covering half.

Conferences in the Grand Ceremonial Hall

Cut off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the center is a place for the creative exchange of knowledge and for international encounters. Scientists and students from different disciplines come together here to take a fresh new look at research issues through discussions at international symposiums, workshops, and summer schools. In addition to the 11 seminar rooms, a ceremonial hall with a grand ceiling fresco by Johann Martin Heigl is open for conferences. 

Technical University of Munich

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