Forest elephants in Lower Saxony

Project: paläon – Forschungs- und Erlebniszentrum Schöninger Speere, Germany

Architect: Holzer Kobler Architekturen, Zürich, Switzerland

Building client: The City of Schöningen, Germany

Photographs: Jan Bitter

Nemetschek brand involved: Vectorworks

The oldest evidence of creative intelligence

The Schöningen spears and other wooden instruments have made the archeological site one of a kind worldwide; a place where one can find out how Homo heidelbergensis lived and hunted approximately 300,000 ago. The excavations also exposed bones belonging to exotic animal species, e.g. forest elephants, to the light of day. The paläon, visible from afar, stands at the edge of the open-cast brown-coal mine: The reflection of the slightly hilly landscape mirrored in the outer shell makes it one with its surroundings. The volume of the three-storey building and the paths that lead out from it form panoramas and apportion the landscape. Large, sharply cut recesses in the building shell provide fascinating views of the archeological site of the spears and of the pit of the open-cast brown-coal mine.