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The Cultural Monument Tithe House in Schweigen-Rechtenbach

Completion of the building history development and drafting of a redevelopment strategy

Ansicht der Ostfassade des Zehnthauses in Schweigen-Rechtenbach
© V. Lübken

Object and task

In Schweigen-Rechtenbach, there is a former tithe house, dated 1593. The building history raised questions and incompleteness, structural changes characterise the current appearance. Among other things, several decades of vacancy led to a pronounced need for renovation. The aim of the master's thesis was to structure the history of the building and to work out a renovation strategy.

Building history

Significant changes to the building fabric occurred after the Second World War, during which the building was partially destroyed. By researching the literature and evaluating photographic material, it was possible to differentiate between various stages of renovation and present them in building age plans. Dendrochronological examinations of the wooden substance offered themselves in order to be able to prove the date chiselled into the keystone of the eastern round arch portal, after no documents in connection with the tithe house were found in the archives. The tree ring analysis was unsuccessful, among other things there was uncertainty with regard to the types of wood in the samples taken. The latter was finally clarified by microscopic wood species analysis, which determined sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), fir (Abies alba) and white oak.

Restoration concept

An overview of the damage and special features is provided by a floor-by-floor and façade-by-façade mapping, as well as photo documentation. The restoration concept includes recommendations on a course of action and differentiates between necessary and subsequent, further measures. The renovation concept dealt in detail with the wooden joist in the basement. A bending and transverse stress analysis confirmed the assumption of an overload. In connection with the future use of the building, it was proposed to reinforce the interior of the half-timbered walls with thermal insulation clay.


1. assessor

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Röder

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Röder

Professor for Building Conservation
Study Advisor Ing-Bau – Structural Conservation and New Construction in Engineering and Building Construction (M. Sc.)
Head of Construction Laboratory Structural Engineering (BKI)

2. assessor

Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Dreger


Vera Lübken