Architectural Archeology

Print

In 1999, prior to commencement of the construction works, Hartheim Castle bore the signs of being utilised for decades as a cheap residential building. The fundamental structure already demonstrated signs of significant damage, and the interiors had been so changed by renovation and fixed elements that they had become unrecognisable. There was no way to get round complete refurbishment if the fundamental structure was to be preserved.

After it had become evident that practically no construction-related or any other documentation was available for the building for the period prior to 1945, special attention had to be paid to looking for clues in the building itself, despite the fact that the team was under constant time pressure. The work of gutting and restoring the building and carefully looking for and securing construction-related clues in parallel, required flexibility on the part of everyone involved. The on-going discussions and co-ordination work with scientists, designers and technicians and excellent construction management made it possible to preserve the majority of important construction-related indications from the history of the castle.