Hungenbach Manor

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Hungenbach Manor

Bringing building tradition to life

You could easily mistake the ensemble of old – partly thatched – mountain houses in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Kürten near Cologne for an open-air museum. But it is much more. Their role in creating a hotel and place to gather, enjoy, and relax, is the key to not only preserving traditional building but keeping it alive. The maintenance and modernization with building materials that are true to the original, such as clay earth, play their part, too.

Clay earth – true to the original is modern

At Gut Hungenbach you will find a total of six half-timbered buildings from past centuries – from large and splendid to small and functional. They come from around the region and were rebuilt here by the owner Hildegard von Fragstein after they were threatened with demolition at their original locations.

The reconstruction was done staying true to the originals. The bedrooms, conference rooms and SPA area and their technical elements have been adapted to the requirements of modern comfort. In keeping with traditional building techniques, clay earth was chosen – from earthen-clay blocks to clay designer plaster.

The building material clay earth, which the original builders of the half-timbered houses relied on, is more relevant than ever. It contributes to the goal of providing ​​maximum interior comfort, by regulating humidity in the room and filtering pollutants and allergens from the air.

The moisture-regulating properties also make earthen clay the ideal material in combination with timber framework. Too much moisture can damage the wood. Clay earth protects the wood naturally – chemical wood protection is superfluous.

Hospitality in a historical setting – preservation equals revitalisation 

Today you can spend the night, dine, meet and relax in the historical half-timbered houses. The creation of a SPA area, conference rooms, a restaurant and hotel rooms was all carefully done, and the conversion process continues.

The most recent example are the lovingly renovated nostalgic rooms. Great emphasis was placed on authenticity and preservation. The old stone floor under your feet feels authentic and solid and the historical beamed ceiling stretches over your head. Both floor and wood elements are highlighted by the bright white clay designer plaster with mother-of-pearl add-in on the walls. The comfortable beds are made of repurposed oak beams.

The rooms with historical charm complement the modern guest rooms the hotel also has available. These modern rooms are located in the only new building on Gut Hungenbach. When a fire in 2013 destroyed the historical main building from 1756, a modern variation was built in its place, a visual representation of the combination of old and new.

Experience the best of both worlds – in a place that fills tradition with new life and uses materials as relevant today as they were centuries ago, such as clay earth.

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Clay Highlight:

Claytec – traditional building becomes modern building

When repairing and modernizing the historic half-timbered buildings, both foundational and decorative clay building materials from Claytec were selected.

Earth bricks and clay masonry mortar with straw are proven solutions for the infill of the wooden framework as well as for building non-load-bearing walls. For further wall construction, clay plasters from Claytec offer a suitable answer for every challenge. A clay base plaster with straw minimizes the risk of cracks. Mineral clay plaster with angular broken sand is a base and top plaster in one. This saves time during application.

Wall surfaces are finished with the YOSIMA clay designer plaster. The 2 mm thick clay layer is available in 146 colours. All colour tones are achieved by mixing different clays, resulting in a range of natural colours. Six possible add-ins expand the design palette. At Gut Hungenbach, two YOSIMA variations were selected: white with Mother-of-Pearl add-in and Indian red.


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