Lehenhof at the Hirsch Hotel

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Lehenhof at the Hirsch Hotel

Traditional building technique for a modern think tank

Where do you get your best ideas? Often in situations in which you leave your usual work environment. The Lehenhof is a place made for new ideas. In the conference hotel in Fellbach near Stuttgart with its 22 guestrooms, two conference rooms, and a foyer lounge, you can forget all about time and the outside world. Thoughtfully selected building materials such as earthen clay as well as workmanship you can visibly appreciate, keep you grounded in the best sense of the word.

A creative break from every day (work) life

“We would like the conference rooms to become a thought workshop, where the atmosphere contributes to the development and finding of good ideas,” is how owners Martin and Michael Oetinger formulate the concept. As the owners of the neighbouring Hirsch hotel and as the award-winning chef in its own restaurant, they have extensive experience in gastronomy.

Collaboration with the architect Robert Ebner, allowed them to translate their concept into architectural form. The ground floor is designed to be a take on the modern “living room”. Behind the reception desk, there are comfortable sofas that invite you to linger. Here you can sit and gaze through large glass windows at the picturesque half-timbered old village centre.

Clear your head for tomorrow’s ideas

Or let your eyes rest on the large rammed earth wall. It separates the foyer from the meeting space demo-kitchen, which is also available for self-service. The reason for the wall catching the eye lies in its visible manufacturing process. The horizontal stripes, typical for rammed earth, arise when the clay is poured into the formwork in layers and compacted.

At Lehenhof, the element earth is joined by fire. A large double-sided glass fireplace is set into the rammed earth wall. Rounding out the space is wooden wall panelling and a tabletop cut from a single tree trunk.

Earthen clay was not only used for the partitioning rammed earth wall. All walls in the conference space have clay-earth surfaces. Clay earth helps to regulate the indoor climate by equalising moisture, binding pollutants and neutralizing odours. This creates an atmosphere for a really clear-head.

Integrated into the passage of time

Tradition, staying up-to-date and innovation are combined in the construction of the Lehenhof meeting space and in the choice of building materials such as earthen clay. The two-storey new build was erected where the barn of the Härtleshof – a fiefdom (German: Lehenhof) – used to be. Across the road is the protected landmark half-timbered ensemble of the Schnitzbiegel-Hof. This landmark was converted to the Hirsch hotel and is also part of the Oetinger hospitality group. At the hotel wine bar, you can end the day with a good glass of wine.

Photos © Ulrike Klumpp

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Clay Highlight:

Timeless earthen building materials from Claytec

When designing the lounge and conference rooms on the ground floor of the new Lehenhof the builders relied on the different qualities of clay earth. Due to its advantages in creating a comfortable indoor climate, its ecological sustainability, and its design range, the traditional building material is more significant than ever today.

The rammed earth wall is an eye-catcher. It is not solid clay earth, but designed as a facade in front of the wall and is sealed several times with water glass. A highlight of the wall is the inset glass fireplace. Its warming effect is supported by the building material clay earth, working as a heat store.

The other walls on the ground floor were also given an earthen-clay surface. Either a clay topcoat plaster or YOSIMA designer plaster was applied to a clay basecoat plaster. YOSIMA clay plaster is available in 146 shades. These natural colours result from the blend of different types of clays and earth contained in the mixture. In addition to white and off-white, black with a glitter addition was also used in Lehenhof. All surfaces were then treated with gloss wax, which gives them an elegant, modern touch.


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