05.02.2010: Mainz Archaeological Center

Three winners in the architects' competition

A new archaeological center will be created in Mainz, the state capital. The Roman-Germanic Central Museum (RGZM) with a research institute and exhibition areas, the Mainz National Museum with its departments for early history and the Roman period, as well as the Rhineland-Palatinate State Archaeology Department with its exhibition rooms, will all find a new home. The Archaeological Center has nearly 12,000 m² of usable area and will form a new cultural and scientific focal point in the southern part of the city of Mainz.

"The new Archaeological Center provides a major opportunity to improve the framework conditions for the work of the RGZM as a globally leading archaeological research institution. This enhances Rhineland-Palatinate in general, and Mainz in particular, as a location for science. The concentration of all the archaeological collections from the region at a single site creates a museum complex of national importance in the immediate vicinity of the Museum of Ancient Shipping and the Roman Theater," said Michael Ebling, State Secretary of Science.

Jens Beutel, Mayor of Mainz, called this, "Certainly one of the largest investments in the cultural heritage of the state capital ever made." The Archaeological Center will make the appeal of the old city center even stronger.

The three winning designs of the architectural competition were presented to the public in Mainz today. Berlin architects Johannes Leyer and Michael Schrölkamp, as well as "The nextEnterprise - Architects" from Vienna, were selected from among the original 125 participants. The jury deliberately abstained from mentioning a specific ranking. "The three very different designs were distinguished by their individual, conceptual approach. The competition resulted in a surprising variety of typologically different solutions, in spite of the complex spatial requirements and the difficult urban building environment," stated the jurors, who included Professor Werner Durth, a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts.

"The RGZM is pleased that the project has taken a very big step forward. We are looking forward to working with the architects," said Professor Falko Daim, Executive Director of the RGZM.

During the next processing phase, the city and the state will clarify questions concerning building regulations in connection with the future use of the structure and add details to the design.

Three other designs received recognition, which also attracts prize money. These designs can be viewed at the Mainz Museum for Ancient Shipping until 12 February, along with 17 other proposals that were also selected for the first phase of the competition.

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