Author(s)Valentiny hvp Architects
Steffen Holzbau S.A.
SGI CONSULTING S.A.
Administration des bâtiments publics
Year of completion
The Biodiversum information center in the nature reserve „Haff Réimech“ is an timber construction made of douglas fir. It combines frame constructions with a mesh grid of planks. Together they form two opposing half-shells, like an inverted boat.
Around 2002, first thoughts about an information and reception center for the natural reserve in the three borders region in Schengen, Luxemburg, arose. Since 2016, the „Centre d‘acceuil Haff Remich“ exists on the small peninsula of a pond as if it had always been there.
Today‘s nature reserve between Remerschen and Wintrange was once a sand and gravel mining area. In the first half of the 19th century, people began mining sand and expanded it so far that in the once fertile area, large pits emerged. Over time, groundwater filled these pits and gave the lakeland its topography. Step by step, flora and fauna took possession of the bald and exploited area. Over the years this developed solely by natural sowing of native plants and by wind into a meadowland. Today, the natural park is one of the world‘s most important resting areas for migratory birds. This, as well as the nature management‘s plan of 2004 and the national plan for nature conservation, led to the conclusion to build the „Biodiversum“ in Remerschen. On the one hand, birds should become the main topic of the exhibition. On the other hand, the center is meant to be an entrance to the nature of the region and to encourage its visitors to explore by themselves.
Initially the building was planned on piles on the lake. This idea was dropped. Instead, the „Biodiversum“ was built on a small peninsula at the pond. The shape of the building was inspired by the Celtic longhouses of the aboriginal people in that region, the Celts. The architects designed a structure that looked like an upside down boat, extended by an administration space. The Exhibition hall and annex should become a timber construction.
The „Centre d‘accueil Haff Remich“ is to sensitize especially children and teenagers but also grown ups for the conservation of nature and environment. It is a mixture of museum and educational institution which covers questions about ecology and the natural reserve behind the specific example of this region. The facade covering consists of untreated and rough-cut Alaskan cedar shingles. This covering, together with the organic looking shape of the longhouse, determines the ensemble‘s character. He also associates the simplicity of a barn as landscape and nature.
Text Author: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Susanne Jacob-Freitag, Karlsruhe