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Dinosaur Theme Park Entrance Building, Kleinwelka

The primordial cell and its division as the origin of life constitute the allegorized architect’s plan for the entrance building of the theme park. Borrowed from the nature, the process of the mitosis is both, project idea and role model for the filigree construction and shaping, which is in a dialogue with the nature.
In this context, bionic borrowings visualize the evolution of life. Through cell division, the primordial cell has been transformed into the constructed, widely remarkable and significant “MITOSEUM”. As a result, primarily curious expectations are generated by the approaching visitor. The six phases of the mitosis were role models for the development of the design idea and can be retrieved within it. Due to its heights and volumes, the “cells” are visible from even a long distance.
The structure and color of the translucent shell, made of ETFE-foil, symbolize nature and life. The exceptional significance and the identity-establishing shape contribute to the character of this entrance building as an unique location.

Project data

Place: Saurierpark 1, 02625 Bautzen
Builder: Beteiligungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft Bautzen mbH, Schäfferstraße 44, 02625 Bautzen
Competition: 12/ 2012 (1. Preis im Einladungswettbewerb)
Planning: 2012 – 2015
Construction time: 06/ 2015 – 04/ 2017
Costs: k.A.
Total Area: 4.700m²
Photograph: Michael Moser
Awards: Heinze Award 2017 – 1. Platz Publikumspreis, 15. Deutscher Verzinkerpreis 2017 für Architektur und Metallgestaltung – 3. Preis Kategorie Architektur, German Design Award 2018 – Winner Excellent Communications Design – Architecture, AIT Award – Best in Interior and Architecture 2018 – Special Mention I Kategorie “Sport/ Freizeit”, Iconic Awards 2018: Innovative Architecture – Selection, Stahl-Innovationspreis 2018 – 3. Preis Kategorie Stahl im Bauwesen, Red Dot Award 2018: Communication Design – Winner
Publications: AIT 7/8 2017, Architecturial Diggest 10/2017, Feuerverzinken 04/2017

Thematic development and design

The existing topography including the declining terrain is integrated into the staging of the visitor’s approaching. The narrowing access route and the flanking lava rocks create an entrancing path. On this way, the elements of water and earth come alive until it finally leads through the building structure into the dividing cell. Here, the beginning of the theme park with the “Fire Gate” and the “Primordial Soup” is visible through the translucent membrane of the shell.
At the peak of the suspense, the visitor leaves the ”real world“ while approaching the “MITOSEUM” and steps into the evolution history of earth and life.

Organization and function

Smooth and organic shapes inside the entrance building support the route guidance and make it intuitive. Therefore, the central foyer including the connected functions ticket office, shop, bistro, and the ancillary rooms is designed as intervening space between the cells. As connector of the different functions, it is derived from the ideal design and effective capability of the nature.

Spectacular construction as a landmark

The entrance level including bistro, shop, and presentation room is covered with three dome constructions. These domes are light structures and symbolize the “cells“ of the mitosis. The nature creates genius, viable, and aesthetic shapes, which constitute role models for the realized dome membranes. Here, the borrowing of shapes and constructions from the nature are not plagiarisms, but necessary references to enable an intelligent, aesthetically ambitious and economical construction.
The interior of the building is flooded with light through the transparent shell. While twilight and after the inversion of light conditions, the cell membranes become luminous landmarks.