At the edge of the town of Schöningen and its open-cast lignite mine lies the site of a remarkable, world-famous Stone-Age find: the Schöningen Spears – the oldest complete hunting weapons ever found. It is now also the location of a new and emblematic research and experience centre that is visible from far around.
The building rises above the natural topography like layered earth, thus communicating the location's importance as an archaeological site. Its futuristic shape evolves out of the horizontal landscape; and indeed, references to the landscape and lines of sight define its volume, ground plan and section. The slightly offset forms of the building create subtly different internal and external spaces. Precisely designed, the volume is clad in a reflective surface and thus becomes a mirror for the landscape. The large, deeply incised window openings suggest shadows on the building and underscore the expressive dynamism of the architecture while offering views of the nearby woods and wild horses and, further off, the mine and the site of the find. The extended axes of the building are pursued as linear tracks into the landscape, linking up, synapse-like, with the path system of the surrounding park.