Landmark potential

The Brandy Distillery Museum

The buildings of the architectural practice TOTEMENT/PAPER stand in the region of Kaliningrad. A modern cognac production facility was built on a piece of wasteland near the railway tracks. The architects were given the task of constructing a warehouse next to it that, in addition to its main function of storing the barrels, was to serve as a meeting and information point, and visitor reception area. Several buildings were created and together produce a very special atmosphere.

Taking as their starting point the grapevine, which forms the basis of cognac production as well as being a powerful Christian symbol, the architects decided upon an architectural complex with powerful symbolic meaning. In every aspect, the focus was on pairs of opposites: inside and outside, male and female, high and low, open and closed, wood and metal.

The high wooden building that serves as a warehouse is intended to symbolise the “life-giving Earth”. A female form, firmly connected with the ground, seems to grow both into it and out of it. Opposite it stands a building section in metal that stretches as if into the sky itself. One part of the building complex serves to give visitors a view into the warehouse without actually entering it. With this architectural structure, the Russian city, which was heavily damaged in the Second World War, has gained a very unusual location that has all the makings of a landmark.

Just as much a landmark of high architectural quality is the ADAC headquarters in Munich (PDF), whose entrance is kept smart and clean with entrance mats from emco.

Photos: © Gleb Leonov



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