People travelling to Siegburg will notice the city’s landmark from a distance, the Michaelsberg Abbey. In the midst of the city, the monastery founded in 1096 with an abbey church impressively sits on the hilltop like a castle, enjoying the panoramic view across the Rhine Valley. A place steeped in history with a remarkable attraction. Now, the Michaelsberg Abbey accommodates the Catholic-Social Institute and shines in new splendour: The monastery was comprehensively converted into a spiritual centre with a conference venue and a hotel. The project demonstrates how a respectful design can appropriately convert a historic building into a modern house with a high level of quality. A new building, the so-called Forum has also been elegantly integrated – a harmonious overall ensemble was created.
Guests now entering the abbey via the glass bridge arrive at the reception. It is the mediating centre between the old and new building, dominated by bright natural stone and leather. Various seminar rooms, a fireplace room and the in-house media competence centre are accommodated on the same level. 121 hotel rooms and suites are located on the first and second level. The former monk’s cells still radiate a calm-contemplative atmosphere. The spirit of the building remains tangible for visitors.
State-of-the-art lighting technology has been installed everywhere, but integrated in a way that it is not visible. The new lighting concept stages the routes and lets strolling the long corridors of the cloisters become an exceptional experience. The architects also attached great importance to details: for example, the historic oil lamps from the cloisters were carefully restored and reused in the reading and fireplace room. The abbey’s characteristic window shape was maintained, too.
Furthermore, a superordinate colour and material concept has been evaluated to visually bring together the abbey and the Forum. Natural stone dominates not only on the façade but also on the floors, while warm oak was used for windows, doors, handrails, and the entire furnishing.
For acoustic reasons it was necessary to lay a textile floor covering the well-lit corridors of the hotel levels and the hotel rooms. A shade was requested which would emphasise the interior design as well as the natural stone, yet without pushing to the fore. In collaboration with carpet manufacturer Carpet Concept, a specific, individual shade was developed, the “Michaelsberg beige”.
The minimalist interior design of the hotel rooms also reflects the colour and material concept: in addition to oak fixtures like wardrobes and desks, the bedheads with integrated lighting fixtures stand out. They are finished in the accent colours mustard yellow, oxblood red or midnight blue and combined with seating furniture in the respective contrasting colour. These colour combinations and materials can again be found in the seminar and conference rooms.
The only constant is change. meyerschmitzmorkramer has remained committed to the challenge of shaping the future since its foundation by Holger Meyer and Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer.
The declared goal of the firm, with 170 employees and 7 offices in Cologne, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Bucharest and Palma de Mallorca, is to create vibrant urban spaces, locations and architecture.
It helps design new home and work environments, define townscapes and incorporate social change into new concepts and ventures. The projects worked on by meyerschmitzmorkramer, whether offices, hotels, listed monasteries or neighbourhoods, demonstrate how the vision of a future way of living and working can be made reality. Whether designing multi-purpose high-rise buildings or configuring urban spaces that meet people’s needs – meyerschmitzmorkramer is an architectural firm that seizes the new, rethinks the old and redefines spaces. Spaces in which we want to live and work today and tomorrow.