Ora et labora – pray and work the Benedictines once prescribed. Today, the listed Michaelsberg Abbey near Siegburg accommodates the Catholic-Social Institute (KSI) and serves as a modern conference center and hotel.
A central aspect in converting the abbey, looking back upon a history of almost 1000 years, was a clear structure: The hotel rooms, reception and seminar rooms are accommodated in the abbey, whereas the restaurant, conference and institute rooms are located in the adjoining new building — the Forum. It was constructed on the site of the former car park, seventeen meters below the ground level of the monastery. The Forum’s two-storey plinth with a light grey-sandy quarry stone references the historic abbey façade. On the rooftop, a spacious glass pavilion enables views over the Rhine Valley. Here, guests enjoy a green oasis: accessible roof areas with a garden landscape invite people to relax. High, narrow windows convey transparency. Loggias, integrated into the façade, form large, open spaces.
Visiting the Michaelsberg is an unforgettable experience: In a lift, overlooking Siegburg, the guests travel up to the pavilion. It’s the staging of a journey: thoughts of everyday life are left behind – the mind opens up for new topics. After entering the abbey via a glass bridge, the guests arrive at the reception: The mediating center between the old and new building, dominated by bright natural stone and leather. In the hotel rooms, the former monks’ cells radiate a calm-contemplative atmosphere. State-of-the-art lighting technology has been installed everywhere, but integrated in a non-visible way. Even the cloisters have retained their charm; the abbey’s characteristic window shape was maintained. Carefully restored, historic oil lamps now serve in the reading and fireplace room. The spirit of the Michaelsberg could be preserved — and remains tangible for visitors.
Client: Archdiocese of Cologne Photo Credits: HGEsch, Hennef