The “Goldener Engel” brewery, which was designed by Hille/Franken Architekten, employs narrative, parametric architecture to reinterpret brewery tradition and marks the field of tension between the sublimity of religious architecture and the profanity of brewing culture and between tradition and Modernism. Even Kloster Eberbach monastery on the opposite side of the Rhine had a brewery dating from the Baroque era that resembled the nave of a church rather than production facilities.
The space within the brewery runs as a continuous v-shaped façade around a courtyard. Slits in it are positioned in line with a process that is governed by rules and, reminiscent of local building style, framed by solid jambs. The façade can be read as a music score, in which the height of the tone is defined by the height of the slits, its length by the width of the slit and the rhythm by the distance between the slits. This comes round full circle to ancient temples in Athens, the configuration of whose columns was conceived in line with harmonious principles, and to the notion of Renaissance façades in accordance with numerical ratios, as practiced by Alberti. The design of the walls ranges from solid state, punctuated façade, to an arcade of columns. Through the interplay of light and shadow and their floor-to-ceiling design the jambs create further associations with a religious building. The interior court becomes a cloister lined with arcades. As a result of the V-shape and perspective openings there are numerous opportunities for looking into various levels of the façade. Even passing motorists are made aware of the brewing process by the copper brewing kettles visible through the slits, as well as the rows of stainless steel storage tanks. On the inside visitors can witness all the stages of the brewing process, from the malt being milled on the gallery level, the brewing room, and the storage kettles, to the final tap. By means of the two-storey surrounding space the brewing kettles are given particular prominence, like an altar. The “Goldener Engel” achieves its coherence as a brewery not through superficial quotations from traditional breweries or banal references to drinking clichés but through the employment of the relationship, one which is rooted in tradition, between places used for transforming things material and spiritual, for receiving sustenance and practicing religion, foe meals and Holy Communion.
Architecture: Hille Architekten; Franken Architekten GmbH; Marcus A. Hille; Bernhard Franken
Project Team: Oliver Sommer, Lotte Stürmlinger, Thorsten Braun, Enzo Cocomero, Tobias von Pastau, Isabel Strelow, Nadine Siegemund, Tanja Schaile, Cathrin Loose
Corporate Design/ Graphics Design: Surface Gesellschaft für Gestaltung mbH
Structural Engineering: Planungsgemeinschaft Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Michel Professor Pfeifer und Partner Ingenieurbüro für Tragwerksplanung
Technical Systems Engineering: Planungsbüro Stoffel
Brewery Technical Systems Engineering: Fa. Kaspar Schulz
Kitchen Planning: Mansmann & Herbers
Outfitting: Feil GmbH