The Löwen-Adler Barracks in Elstal
Conversion concepts for the main building of the Löwen-Adler barracks in Elstal
Since 2014, Robert Dahl and his company have been operating one of his amusement parks based on the "Karls Erlebnis-Dörfer" concept in the Elstal district of the municipality of Wustermark. The area on which the amusement park was built is about 9.29 hectares and was formerly used for military purposes. The concept of "Karls Erlebnis-Dörfer" consists of a combination of trade, leisure and entertainment, gastronomy and accommodation to create an overall experience. The combination of these elements results in a synergy effect that is a successful development for the overall business. While the first locations were concentrated around the company's headquarters in Rövershagen, the Elstal location was established, especially with a focus on the huge catchment area of Berlin. And this quickly showed its effect, so that already in 2017 more than one million visitors could be counted.
The Karls Erlebnis-Dorf in Elstal can no longer cope with the steadily increasing demand in its current form. Against this background, Karls is planning to expand the adventure village at the Elstal site and to build a holiday resort on the conversion site of the former Löwen-Adler barracks, which is located to the east and has been derelict for many years, as well as the adjoining urban brownfield sites to the west and east. The total area of the project, including the existing areas, is about 79.21 hectares. In principle, only a few buildings are to be retained. One of these buildings is the main building of the Löwen-Adler barracks, which was presumably used as an officers' casino at the time. This building is the focus of the present master's thesis.
After a brief outline of the building's history, a description of the object and a survey of its condition are to be carried out. The documentation of the actual condition of the building and the damage assessment form the basis for an analysis with regard to possible utilisation concepts and necessary renovation measures. When developing design concepts, recommendations for demolition, new construction, repair, reinforcement or strengthening measures must be made. Finally, fire protection measures are to be formulated, also with regard to a possible listed building status, and a rough calculation of construction costs based on DIN 276.
A building survey was carried out to show the current condition and the construction materials used. It serves as a basis for conservation measures and as a starting point for planning changes. The building survey also defines the current condition of a building, which was elaborated by creating an exemplary room book. The building survey includes the graphic representation as as-built plans and the textual description of the existing constructions and damages.
The building has suffered considerable damage through use as well as long vacancy in recent years. A variety of different types of damage can be found in the building. The damage was divided into individual categories. Nine different damage categories were defined. They are divided into cracks, corrosion damage, fungi, moisture damage, waterproofing materials, biological infestation, salt efflorescence, insect infestation and other damage. An exemplary damage glossary was drawn up to provide an overview of the existing damage. The inventory was completed with a comprehensive damage mapping in the as-built plans.
In the course of the archival research, it was determined that none of the buildings of the Löwen-Adler-Kaserne has monument status. An examination by the monument protection authority on a possible subsequent registration of the former "officers' casino" is still pending. Even though a subsequent registration is quite conceivable, no consideration was given to the boundary conditions under monument protection law in the further planning and concept development. Nevertheless, an attempt was made to preserve elements of architectural history and to avoid a major intervention in the existing building.
The client's current wish is to convert the building into a hotel complex. With regard to the regional planning assessment, the impact analyses and the feasibility study, a hotel use of the complex makes perfect sense. The overall concept describes the development of the Löwen-Adler-Kasernen site into a holiday resort. The incorporation of a themed hotel thus underlines the planned use of the entire complex. The subsequent use of the "officers' casino" as a family-friendly hotel appeals to a new target group, which means that no competition with existing hotel offers in the area is to be expected. On this basis, design concepts for a revitalisation into an "adventure hotel" were developed.
The "Officers' Casino" has a total area of about 20,000m², which extends over the basement, ground, upper and attic floors in the north, south, east and west wings, as well as in the form of adjoining terraces. The design concept that has been developed provides for a division of the areas into different units of use. The following table shows how this programming is divided up in percentage terms. In addition to the attractions, the Karls Erlebnis-Dörfer are characterised above all by the manufactories and sales areas that offer specially produced products around the theme of "strawberries". The integration of these cornerstones into the design of a hotel complex results in a coherent overall concept with regard to a planned holiday village complex. On the basis of the planned use and the damage previously recorded, necessary renovation measures were then described, from which recommendations for demolition and new construction measures were also derived in the form of red-yellow plans. Through costing according to DIN 276, it was found that the cost of refurbishing the "Officers' Casino" would take up more than a third of the targeted development costs. A subsequent entry of the building complex in the list of listed buildings would open up the possibility of a pro-rata assumption of costs. Presumably, only then would the developer prefer redevelopment and revitalisation to demolition and new construction.
- Melanie Müller
- Patryk Krok