The Railroad Museum’s reception building in Bochum won the BDA Architecture Award Bochum in 2020.
On the expansive grounds of a former railroad depot in Bochum-Dahlhausen, Max Dudler’s new building serves as a calming aspect in the middle of a rough-edged open-air museum of historic rail vehicles and former railroad buildings. First of all, the harmoniously proportioned, abstract cubature of the brick-red structure in charcoal-burned brick has a soothing effect. The striking tower projection, reminiscent of a buffer stop, enters into a dialogue with the chimneys of the adjacent factory for fireproof ceramic components and becomes a comparatively small but impactful landmark. It marks the entrance – the additional function of a viewing platform could no longer be realised due to the low budget. Instead of a half-hearted compromise, the architects opted for a radical solution: forgoing the platform and omitting the vertical access including the roof of the tower. The entrance portal thus serves as an unusual, weather-beaten, high intermediate space, in front of the adjoining elongated museum rooms of exposed concrete, which end in a large glass door.
The jury was also impressed by the unpretentious design of the small museum, perfectly suited to site and usage, with its neatly executed details.