Making Traditional Craftsmanship Accessible
Wood, clay earth and slate are plentiful in the Sauerland region, so you can discover real gems of half-timbered construction here. Rödinghausen Estate, the former ancestral home of the Dücker noble family dating from 1807 is one such example. Today, the industrial museum housed here gives you singular perspectives on the diversity of local products as well as on the building history of the house.
Renovation in keeping with landmark preservation and traditional workmanship
During the renovation of the 200-year-old half-timbered house, it was particularly important to the conservationists that the historical floorplan of the house be preserved. This meant no new walls added and no removal of old walls as well as all windows and doors in their original locations.
Renovating the exterior walls consisted of repair of the wooden framework where necessary and filling the frames with earthen clay bricks. The interior walls were also renovated or rebuilt in keeping with historical construction methods using willow rod wattle plastered with clay earth.
In some cases, so-called clay timber struts were used for repair. For this purpose, oak stakes (battens) wrapped with long pieces of straw are soaked with earthen clay. The struts were inserted into the wooden construction and plastered over with clay earth.
The art of combining landmark preservation with modern energy standards
At Rödinghausen Estate remaining faithful to the original building methods does not also mean preserving an indoor climate like they had 200 years ago. This is ensured through the use of interior insulation made of wood-fibre boards. So that air layers could be prevented and these fibreboards could be laid flush together, uneven wall surfaces were compensated for with a “dry earth wood fill”, which was inserted behind quilted reed boards.
An in-wall heating system integrated into the earthen clay plaster kills two birds with one stone. It generates a pleasant warmth, thanks to the clay earth acting as a heat accumulator, and does not disrupt the historical ambience as radiators would.
Windows into past architecture
In selected places in the house, you will find literal windows into the past. Glass panes embedded in the walls and floor allow you to see the construction below.
During the renovation of the old oak floor, the restorers made a special find. Several children’s shoes were discovered in a cavity under the floorboards. Time and again, during renovations of historical buildings throughout Europe, walled-in shoes come to light. No one knows the exact reason for this custom. At Rödinghausen Estate, the shoes were put back where they were found and the floor was sealed with a pane of glass.
The numerous museum exhibits are also presented in memorable ways. The team at Steinert-Architektur GmbH developed all-glass showcases, some of which are shaped like the wooden framework of a traditional half-timbered house.
Photos © TÖLLE STUDIOSRead more »
Claytec for the preservation of timber frame houses
The faithful restoration of half-timbered structures is one of the core uses for earthen clay in Western Europe. This often involves employing the same methods that craftsmen did hundreds of years ago. Today, modern techniques and natural building materials complement the historical methods so that modern building requirements can be met.
For the renovation of Rödinghausen Estate, the craftsmen used earthen clay building materials from Claytec – from clay blocks to clay masonry mortar, clay finishing plaster and Clayfix clay paint, as well as complementary products such as larch wood battens.