Schwerin Castle

After several years of reconstruction work, the orangery on the lakeside of the Schwerin Castle is now open to the public again.
Gerrit Prinssen, Hannover

Carefully Restored

SCHOTT Spezialglas AG, Standort Grünenplan was involved in the restoration of the Schwerin Castle – with “Restover” window glass for the orangery.

Many informed experts call Schwerin Castle – with its golden cupolas visible for miles around – the “Neuschwanstein of the North.” The venerable structure situated picturesquely on the banks of Lake Schwerin is one of the most important examples of historical architecture in Germany. After the country’s reunification, the famous trademark of Schwerin, a city rich in tradition, became the State Capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Today, politicians are not the only people working in the former royal residence; a team of experts has been carefully restoring the Schwerin Castle since 1992.

The State building authorities in Schwerin commissioned the architects of BHL (Bassewitz, Hupertz, Limbrock GmbH) in Hamburg and the civil engineers of the Karlsruhe office for construction (Wenzel, Frese, Pförtner, Haller) for the work. Their first project was to restore the facades of the castle, and several rooms also had to be renovated for members of the State parliament.

Protection for plants and a café

Restoration work on the orangery began six years ago. The greenhouse originally served to protect sensitive plants from the harsh winters – a function that would have been an impossibility before renovation work commenced. Large areas of the orangery were in ruins and even in danger of collapsing. According to the plans for the restoration, the building was once again to be used to store plants in the winter, while it would house a café in the summer.

In structural design, an orangery represents an inventive cross between architecture as the human language of form and the free expression of nature. This idea has been realized in a limited space through the geometrically placed flowerbeds of the terrace and the orangery.

“Restover” meets all requirements

“The glasshouse of the orangery required a particularly careful renovation, restoration and preservation,” explains Anna Katharina Zülch, the Project Manager of the architects. The panes had to be put in the existing cast iron construction, which is why the glass could not be thicker than three millimeters. The temperature of the interior must be pleasant for café visitors, while at the same time serving the needs of the plants.

The architects chose “Restover” produced by SCHOTT Spezialglas AG, Standort Grünenplan because it meets the list of requirements. The panes are two and a half to three millimeters thick, have a slightly irregular surface and prevent annoying reflections. But most of all, the slight unevenness of the panes complies with the demands of the people who wish to preserve the authenticity of monuments: the new glass front creates the perfect historical appearance for the restored orangery.