In the courtyard, parterres have been removed to accommodate light wells for the conference level below.

In the courtyard, parterres have been removed to accommodate light wells for the conference level below.

Credit: Hagen Stier


The ensemble we know as Herrenhausen got its start in the 17th century as a country estate for the Electors of Hanover. Its notoriety grew with the addition of the Baroque Grosser Garten designed by Martin Charbonnier between 1696 and 1714, bringing to bear all the influence that his teacher André Le Nôtre exerted decades earlier at Versailles. At the same time, a residence was built to terminate the central axis of the expanding gardens. It was more than a century later, in 1819, after the territory had been elevated to a kingdom, that architect Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves recast the structure with its restrained Neoclassical façade.

That legacy came to ruin during World War II, when a 1943 bombing raid leveled the castle, leaving only a crumbling horseshoe staircase. In the 1960s, restoration began on the garden, but the residence wasn’t rebuilt until last year, according to the Laves design, by Hamburg-based Jastrzembski Kotulla Architekten. Funded by the city of Hanover and the Volkswagen Foundation, the structure is now a conference center and museum, with contemporary spaces secreted behind the pediments and pilasters of the façade. With the reintroduction of this architectural centerpiece, the balance of the filigreed greenspace has been restored.

Schloss Herrenhausen is surrounded by many types of gardens, including this arrangement of fig trees and flower beds, which was restored to its original design by landscape architecture firm Hager Partner in time for the Expo 2000 worlds fair.

Schloss Herrenhausen is surrounded by many types of gardens, including this arrangement of fig trees and flower beds, which was restored to its original design by landscape architecture firm Hager Partner in time for the Expo 2000 world’s fair.

Credit: Hagen Stier

The gardens before reconstruction of the schloss.

The gardens before reconstruction of the schloss.

Credit: Karl Johaentges

The schloss straddles the central axis of Martin Charbonniers parterre-filled Baroque garden.

The schloss straddles the central axis of Martin Charbonnier’s parterre-filled Baroque garden.

Credit: Coptograph

There are several pavilions and other structures in the garden, such as this fountain staircase leading to the garden theater on the east side of the Grosser Garten.

There are several pavilions and other structures in the garden, such as this fountain staircase leading to the garden theater on the east side of the Grosser Garten.

Credit: Guentermanaus

The Grosser Garten, which extends south of the palace, includes the Inselgarten.

The Grosser Garten, which extends south of the palace, includes the Inselgarten.

Credit: Coptograph

An octagonal fountain in the Grosser Garten.

An octagonal fountain in the Grosser Garten.

Credit: Coptograph

A topiary parterre in front of the ancillary Gallery building, which, along with an orangerie, largely survived the bombing.

A topiary parterre in front of the ancillary Gallery building, which, along with an orangerie, largely survived the bombing.

Credit: Coptograph

The courtyard of the reconstructed schloss.

The courtyard of the reconstructed schloss.

Credit: Hagen Stier

An entirely new below-grade level accommodates a large auditorium and additional seminar rooms. More contemporary than the interiors of the schloss proper, this level is illuminated and ventilated by two atriums cut into the main palace courtyard. Sliding doors connect these open-air spaces to the interiors.

An entirely new below-grade level accommodates a large auditorium and additional seminar rooms. More contemporary than the interiors of the schloss proper, this level is illuminated and ventilated by two atriums cut into the main palace courtyard. Sliding doors connect these open-air spaces to the interiors.

Credit: Sven Kotulla

The smaller-scale bar is on the second level of the palace and opens out onto a new rooftop terrace.

The smaller-scale bar is on the second level of the palace and opens out onto a new rooftop terrace.

Credit: Hagen Stier

Much of the schloss has been recast as a conference center, and the interiors combine classical proportions with modern finishes. The old foyer can be subdivided for smaller meetings and seminars; the space is paved in Jura limestone and opens out to the gardens. Conference attendees enter through a different entrance than that of the museum, which occupies the main level in the buildings east and west wings.

Much of the schloss has been recast as a conference center, and the interiors combine classical proportions with modern finishes. The old foyer can be subdivided for smaller meetings and seminars; the space is paved in Jura limestone and opens out to the gardens. Conference attendees enter through a different entrance than that of the museum, which occupies the main level in the building’s east and west wings.

Credit: Hagen Stier


Drawings

An early rendering of the garden.

An early rendering of the garden.

Credit: Martin Bröcker

Credit: Courtesy Jastrzembski Kotulla Architekten

Credit: Courtesy Jastrzembski Kotulla Architekten



Project Credits

Project  Schloss Herrenhausen, Hannover, Germany
Client  IVA/Volkswagen Foundation
Architect  Jastrzembski Kotulla Architekten, Hamburg, Germany—Bettina Jastrzembski, Sven Kotulla (principals); Johannes Carl, Christoph Gawlick, Jakob Grelck, Kai Stender (team)
Construction Management  Friedrich Schulze
Interior Designer  Ewald Kramer
Builder  IVA/VolkswagenStiftung
Project Management  Bilfinger
Structural Engineering  Wetzel & von Seht
Building Services  Hetzel, Tor-Westen + Partner
Electrical Engineering  TGL Planungsgemeinschaft
Lighting Design  Studio Dinnebier
Building Physics  ISRW Klapdor
Fire Protection  Corall Ingenieure
Soil Surveys and Excavations  Schnack & Partner
Construction and Reconstruction  Büro für Bauforschung—Dr. Bernd Adam (historian)
Acoustics  Taubert und Ruhe
Surveying  Rohardt Evensen