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Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg

Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg

Historical architectural event: Conversion of the tack room into a castle bistro


Heidelberg Castle is one of the most famous ruins in Germany. Around a million visitors come to see it each year. Until the castle was ransacked and burned to the ground by the soldiers of King Louis XIV during the Palatinate War of Succession (1688-1697), it was home to the Prince Elector of the Palatinate. Since then, the complex first mentioned in the 13th century has only been partially restored over time.

After several centuries of existence as a ruin, the conversion of the castle’s tack room was truly a historic event. The local paper Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung eternalised the event with their headline “The tack room receives the kiss of life”. The structure was likely initially part of the fortifications and was used as stables and a carriage shed after the Thirty Years War. Its conversion to a bistro with 50 seats was completed in accordance with listed building regulations. The illumination was implemented with BEGA indoor luminaires.

The architects at Max Dudler wanted to ensure that the original ceiling height of 7.50 metres would once again shine in its original splendour. The existing barrel vaulting was restored and fixed glazing with access doors was added to the arches.

The interior was finished with just a handful of different materials: The floor is natural stone. An acoustic ceiling was created. All fittings and doors are black cherry wood.

The impressive look of the hall is further enhanced by BEGA pendant luminaires from the LIMBURG collection. The 80-cm-high dimmable luminaires for unshielded, even light are perfectly proportioned. The cylinders are made of hand-blown, three-ply opal glass with a wafer thin opalescent layer between two layers of crystal glass. The highly-translucent, yet opaque glass distributes the light uniformly.

Custom versions of our pendant luminaires are used in Heidelberg, in which the connecting cables and canopies are black. This colour was chosen to draw the eye away from them and to the vaulted ceiling and the brilliant lighting concept of the bistro.

Client

The state of Baden-Württemberg

Architecture/Planning

Max Dudler Architects Berlin · Frankfurt · Zurich

Photography
Stefan Müller, Berlin

Luminaires used