Bedheim, Sch(l)afstall

Land Building Art

Good architecture comes from the city and can be found in the city: this impression can be gained when building culture is primarily sought in urban areas. However, outstanding architecture also exists in rural areas. The gaze of the professional world is increasingly turning there. Simplicity, resource awareness, and landscape references are the maxims of a new generation of designers who consistently continue to develop rural building culture in a contemporary way.

Drohnenaufnahme Bedheim_Foto Thomas Müller
A prime example of this new avant-garde in the countryside can be found in the very south of Thuringia, in Bedheim.
Garten Bedheim_Foto Thomas Müller
In addition to monument preservation, the core topics of the group consisting of architects, artists, and craftsmen are solidarity and social agriculture, rental housing construction in rural areas, and academic feedback. Hand and mind should come together at the location.

One of the projects by Studio Gründer Kirfel, the Neue Remise for Bedheim Castle, became an IBA project in 2017. The economic building, largely built with the help of students and craftsmen in the traditional wooden construction style, was named ›Sch(l)afstall‹ by the IBA and continues this tradition in the rural region. Despite the wooded surroundings of these rural areas, wooden construction has not had a good reputation in the past due to fears of damage caused by moisture and fungi. Thus, the sensual perception and knowledge of the material as well as the craftsmanship are increasingly lost. With this project, Studio Gründer Kirfel created uncompromising architecture that shows the possibilities of sustainable, artistically exciting self-construction. A place on the shortlist of the prestigious prize of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) honors this. A successful documentary film explains the special features of the project and motivates follow-up projects to build with high-quality regional building materials in rural areas.

Studio Gründer Kirfel strengthens the debate on building culture in rural areas with the ›Bedheimer Kamingespräche‹, which were conducted in cooperation with the IBA. In 2015, this resulted in the Bedheim Declaration, which formulated quality criteria for building culture in rural areas for both professionals and the public. With its teaching assignments, promotions, and regular construction workshops, Studio Gründer Kirfel strengthens the exchange between urban and rural areas. With the start of construction in 2017, they finally tested the maxims of their building culture themselves: the 7.5 by 24 meter large Sch(l)afstall was built on the natural stone foundation of the old barn of the castle complex. Thanks to the help of wandering carpenters, the wooden rough building was completed in just four weeks. Expert companies were called in when specialized knowledge was lacking. The students of the 2017 construction workshop helped under the guidance of Studio Gründer Kirfel and their partners. This taught the architecture students what comes after the design and planning practiced at universities. The actual practical implementation of designs is an approach that is often neglected in education. The exchange with construction trades is also often neglected.

Giebelseite Schlafstall Bedheim_Foto Thomas Müller
In the construction of the Sch(l)afstall, industrial building elements were largely avoided, and even the windows were self-made.
Küche Schlafstall_Foto Thomas Müller
The dark exterior of the building surprises with bright rooms inside. On the ground floor of the Sch(l)afstall, there is a spacious kitchen that can be used as a lounge or exhibition space, as well as a sanitary facility.
Dachstuhl Schlafstall Bedheim_Foto Thomas Müller
A dormitory and a guest room on the top floor provide space for the numerous visitors the studio receives.

Bedheim Castle is a densely programmed living and working space for its residents and visitors. The activities radiate out into the village and beyond. With the regionally proven building culture practiced here, Studio Gründer Kirfel will continue to promote ecological, regional, and artistically excellent self-construction. Further projects in the context of the ensemble are in the planning stages.


Schloss 1
98630 Bedheim




  • Bauleitung und Bauausführung: 
  • Philipp Bader (Zimmerer und Msc. Architektur),
  • Albert Liebermann (Buchbinder)
  • Bauausführung:
  • Astrid Rühle (Vorsitzende des Fördervereins),
  • Mario Schmidt (Hausmeister),
  • Okubay Kidane (Praktikant),
  • Martin Bachmeier (Metallbauer),
  • Michael Schreiber (Vereinsmitglied),
  • Gudrun Klöckner (Zimmerin),
  • Manou Knepper (Zimmerer),
  • Stefan Feger (Zimmerer),
  • Jakob Rößner (Gärtner),
  • Jakob Fricke (Helfer),
  • Lukas Kiefer (Helfer),
  • Markus Noll (Mitglied Förderverein),
  • Claudia Zauke (Dachdeckermeisterin),
  • Karl Otto Krebs (Mitglied Förderverein),
  • Karl-Friedrich Gründer (Lehrer),
  • Simon von Hackewitz (Abiturient)
  • und das gesamte Studio Gründer Kirfel
  • Teilnehmende des internationalen Workcamps
  • Studierende der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar im Rahmen der Bauwerkstätten 2017 und 2018

IBA Project Manager

Tobias Haag


Gespräch mit Anika Gründer und Florian Kirfel_IBA Magazin 2022.pdf [pdf]


Sch(l)afstall Schloss Bedheim im IBA Finale 2023
Bauwerkstatt in Bedheim
IBA Salon ›Schön hier. Architektur auf dem Land‹ in Bedheim
Nominierung DAM Architekturpreis 2020
3. Bedheimer Kamingespräch und Eröffnung Sch(l)afstall
Ernennung zum IBA Projekt
2. Bedheimer Kamingespräch
1. Bedheimer Kamingespräch
StadtLand Gespräch in Bedheim
Nominierung zum IBA Kandidat

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