A High-Proof Experience: Distillery in Bad Mergentheim
Client: Brennerei Herz, Bad Mergentheim
Architects: Architekturbüro Klärle, Bad Mergentheim
Location: Buchener Str. 30, 97980 Bad Mergentheim
Whenever a client features the silhouette of his or her new building – or part of it – in the company logo, the architects know they have done something right. This is what has happened in Bad Mergentheim, where architect Rolf Klärle and his studio had planned a new distillery and sales room for a local family-run business. The ambition was clear: a new building with high recognition value was to be erected on the triangular remnant of a plot located in a faceless industrial park. At this distillery, clients would be able to watch the distilling process, then taste the products and take them home.
The architects divided the funnel-shaped building plan into two segments: a wider one for the distillery and showroom, and a narrower one for the laboratory and rooms for technical installations and sanitation. The distinguishing characteristic of the new building – which appears in the Brennerei Herz logo – is the four-part, barrel-shaped roof that covers the larger area of the building. Two smaller barrels take up the design language of the side wing. In the rear area, the architects have integrated the chimney as an integral part of their new building. According to Rolf Klärle, “On the one hand, the shapes created from this design give the building a bit of the charm of an historical industrial building. On the other hand, they give it a certain machine-like appearance, almost as though part of the distilling process took place inside them.” Then again, the stills are the central element in making liquor; they also attract attention from every angle of view. The rear barrel-roof segment above this area is higher than the others; it ends in a band of windows on the rear wall of the building through which evaporate can be vented. The barrel roofs are a wooden construction that has been set onto the rough formwork of the exposed-concrete walls of the building. On the exterior, the architects extended the wood formwork to the ground, making the new building appear to be of solid concrete within and of wood on the outside. The space between the concrete wall and façade shell is insulated with cellulose, and the floor slab consists of smooth-trowelled concrete.