The Museum für Antike Schifffahrt in Mainz is home to a veritable trove of unique finds, including Roman military ships from the late 3rd and 4th centuries B.C. Discovered during excavations in Mainz in the 1980s, five full-size ships of the fleet now occupy a vast exhibition hall – originally a locomotive repair shop, this venue has now been adapted to suit the rather different requirements of a museum.
The new museum hall has a light, airy feel to it and is well ordered. But it is only at second glance that the architecture becomes really interesting, for this is when you notice that two very different periods in time collide in this single venue: On the one hand there are ancient wooden planks taken from Roman shipwrecks, which are displayed beneath a structure made of iron girders representing the age of the railway and architectural iron constructions. On the other we find a high-tech glazed ceiling with integrated solar panels, an emblem of the age of solar power.
The restoration project's assignment essentially consisted in introducing new energy concepts to the new exhibition space. The aim was to reach a point where the museum would be able to cover its annual electricity consumption from the power generated by the new roof, a combination of roof greenery and the specially-designed glazed roof mentioned above. The half-transparent "ASI THRU" panels made by Schott flood the space with natural light yet ensure that certain presentation areas are shaded when necessary. As the prime contractor, Schott delivered around 1,100 square meters of these integrated, semi-transparent thin-film panels (10% transparency), and a total of 740 – 630 of which have active surfaces – have now been installed in the existing building to form this glazed ceiling.
Locomotive repair shops house antique ships and boast an array of high-tech features
28 February 2012
The unassuming look of the glass panes conceal their multiple functions and effects on the interior | Photo © Schott
Photo © Schott
Look at the newly installed roof system of the Ancient Maritime Museum in Mainz | Photo © Schott
"Opalika" frosted glass in the exhibition and presentation space;"ASI THRU" solar panels as skylights - both systems by Schott | Photo © Schott
Photo © Schott