Mainzer Tor, Miltenberg

The historical town of Miltenberg opens its gate tower for new uses

In the Lower Franconian town of Miltenberg, a symbolic yet functional connection has been created between past, present and future. On the grounds of the Mainzer Tor, a historically listed monument situated at the base of a mountain slope, the new city archive and museum depot showcase town history as well as art history, while the neighbouring youth centre offers a space for the young generation of Miltenberg to look towards the future. The building complex at the Mainzer Tor, completed in 2019, is elegantly integrated into the tower structure of the same name, which has marked the western city border at the foot of the Main River since the 14th century. BEGA luminaires illuminate this impressive and multifaceted entrance to the town.

On the side of the renovated tower, a newly constructed, angular base structure rises up from the steep grounds and connects the two buildings with a foot bridge. Along the new building, stainless steel BEGA in-ground luminaires embedded in the pavement accentuate the red façades made of the typical local Main sandstone. The Mainzer Tor itself is highlighted by extremely efficient BEGA high-performance floodlights that are carefully and unobtrusively placed to illuminate the distinctive areas of the tower. BEGA light building elements refine the nocturnal lighting arrangement. At first, the structural design elements with rotationally symmetrical light distribution draw attention to themselves, then they direct the visitor’s eye towards a striking flight of steps. These wide steps are embedded into the red base structure, acting as a stylistic marker on the town’s landscape. Glare-free BEGA recessed wall luminaires, flush-mounted in the walls, use asymmetrical light distribution to illuminate the wide steps leading to the roof of the base structure with its wide open space as well as several smaller stairwells.

The idyllic town of Miltenberg, with its well-preserved medieval historical centre and unique location between the banks of the Main and a mountain slope, seems like a town in a picture book. With the new building at the Mainzer Tor, Stuttgart-based architecture firm Bez + Kock has managed to overcome a particular challenge: By constructing this versatile new building, they have reinvigorated the town’s landscape with modern architectural accents that also blend smoothly into the already picturesque town profile. In 2021, their work was nominated for the renowned DAM award for architecture.

Architecture Bez + Kock Architekten, Stuttgart

Client City of Miltenberg

Lighting design Made by Light – Lichtplanung, Hamburg