Terra Arc

My bachelor’s thesis focuses on the conception of a pioneer station at the Tagebau Garzweile II. This pioneering project aims to honor the cultural identity and history of the lignite mining region of North Rhine-Westphalia in a sustainable manner, while also focusing on long-term development. The pioneer station seeks to initiate a forward-looking development in the region, aiming not only to build a structure but also to usher in a sustainable future and unlock the area’s developmental potential.

The pioneer station will serve not only as a documentation center for the past history of lignite mining but also offer gastronomic options, seminar rooms, office spaces, and outdoor areas with terraces and sculpture park.

During my research on the impacts of mining, I identified social and ecological challenges that I have integrated into the design. We will construct an observation tower to serve as a prominent landmark in the flat landscape and to pay homage to the lost, identity-establishing church towers. The courtyard floor will be predominantly made of recycled bricks from the demolished houses of the surrounding area, which had to yield to the mine. These bricks will be arranged to mark the entrance to the documentation center, as depicted in the floor plan. Additionally, the arrangement of the bricks will create a fissure in the ground leading to the edge of the mine, as shown in the axonometry.

The building itself will be constructed from clay and rammed earth sourced from the excavation of the construction pit. The locally available clay is ideally suited for this construction method, as the superficial overburden layer already contains abundant clay material.