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Organic world & Rapunzel values can be experienced from 2022

Blog about the progress of the visitor center

The construction of our new visitor center is underway. The visitor center will open in the beginning of 2022. We are looking forward to a building with an exhibition area, a show coffee roastery, an organic bakery shop, a restaurant, an organic supermarket, a yoga and cookery studio as well as extensive outdoor facilities. 

Learn more about the construction progress and about the idea behind the visitor center.


"There is still something more in our world where humanity and dignity seems to have less and less room. The most important aspect of this project is therefore not the object itself but the people who will work in the building and who will give visitors the Rapunzel experience." 
 
Joseph Wilhelm
Managing director Rapunzel Naturkost 


Construction break ≠ end of fun

Lots of action in the basement of the visitor center

[Januar 2021] It has been snowing in the Allgäu for days making it very difficult for all who participate in the construction of our visitor center. Because too much snow brings the construction to a break. 

Gently trickles the snow? Wrong thinking! Because it was far from quiet here on the week-end. The family of our technical project manager curtly declared the basement to a skating rink and organized a heated tournament on the icy surface. 

Thanks for this great idea and the wonderful pictures!

Modern timber construction for the truss

A roof is made - or "Lego for adults"

[December 2020] On a cold winter's day, we arrive at Holzbau Endres in the town of Bad Grönenbach some 15 minutes away from Legau. Some roof rafters and purlins can already be seen on the outside next to the building, but the roof dormers are currently being constructed in the big construction hall. We want to find out how a roof truss is made and what's special about the roof of Rapunzel's visitor center. 

Good planning is half the story: every part has its place

If you think that carpenters only work with wood and timber then you're pretty wrong. Months of planning on the computer are needed before the timber can be ordered and the building process begins. The construction that are roughly sketched in the architects' plans and by the structural designers must be worked out in detail by the carpenters, especially the warped surfaces, the round building components and the fire prevention measures must be elaborately developed.    
Holzbau Endres in Bad Grönenbach
Holzbau Endres in Bad Grönenbach
Holzbau Endres in Bad Grönenbach
Master carpenter Josef Zeller present the challenging
Master carpenter Josef Zeller present the challenging
Master carpenter Josef Zeller present the challenging
...detailed planning
...detailed planning
...detailed planning
Thanks to good preliminary work and accurate planning, the workers on the building site will exactly know the right places for the parts at the building site. "That's like Lego for adults" explains managing director Matthias Endres who manages the family business in the third generation. "All the parts that we manufacture must be assembled later in the right place with a fitting counterpart". We are starting to understand this process a little bit better as we are looking around the construction hall. In a corner, we see one building component that is marked: "South building south-east top corner, inner top chaplet".
 
If the trees that are used for a construction project grow within the region, as is the case with the local spruce trees that are used for the roof of Rapunzel's visitor center, a timber construction would always be sustainable, asserts Matthias Endres. For the roof components, Endres uses glued laminated timber because sawn timber in the needed dimensions and lengths is not available. The wood for the Rapunzel roof comes from the town of Reuthe in Vorarlberg in Austria. The six dormers are fabricated with plywood boards. Solid timber from the Allgäu is used for the formwork of the roof structure, the roof lathing and the counter battens. 
 
Managing director Matthias Endres gives us a tour through the construction hall
Managing director Matthias Endres gives us a tour through the construction hall
Managing director Matthias Endres gives us a tour through the construction hall
Also the approximately 100,000 roof tiles will be assembled in a next step by the carpenters. "Every tile will be handled at least once by the workers. At the building curvatures, the tiles will have to be picked up several times because here, the tiles must be cut in trapezoidal shapes", explains master carpenter Josef Zeller, who checks the building site once a week. 
   
Finally, we are asking the managing director what is particularly special about the roof truss of the Rapunzel visitor center: "Its visual appearance, the size and its challenging shape", he answers and continues that it is especially high end what is done on the computer, with respect to the timber framing and at the building site. "A project like this you implement only once in a lifetime. Rapunzel asked us if we had the confidence to carry out this project. We decided to do it and we gladly accepted the challenge." We left the timber construction business with the conviction: mission accomplished. 
   

Walls, beams, ceilings

New video on the visitor center building progress 

[July 2020] Quite a development from our last video from April 2020 until today - our anticipation increases from day to day.

Visit the building site with us and imagine our exhibition on organic agriculture, how the show coffee roastery will fill the air with wonderful smells and how we will strenghten our spirits in the yoga and cookery studio. 

Property with a good omen

The visitor center from a geomancer's view

Marko Pogacnik
Geomant Marko Pogacnik
[07.05.2020] The concept of geomancy - earth healing - is probably not very well-known. Geomancy, however, is ancient human knowledge. Most ceremonial or religious sites are located on consciously chosen sites that emit a special energy. Today, we are also trying to bring good energy to a site or into a room; for example with Feng Shui, the Chinese theory of harmony. 

A geomancer measures and comprehends a place and tries to harmonize it with the people. With this goal in mind, the geomancer Marko Pogačnik inspected the site where the Rapunzel visitor center will be built. According to the geomancer, humans can communicate with the field of consciousness that surrounds our planet. This communication requires a special language that surpasses the framework of rational logic. This universal language includes pictures, sounds, movements etc. 

Let's try to decode this universal language by reading an excerpt of the geomancer's report before the building process was started.

„On the premises of the future visitor center, I encounter a snake that is guardian of the site. I am talking with the snake and ask it to withdraw and make room for the plan of the visitor center.  (...) I am trying to resettle the elementary beings from the felled trees into the hedgerow at the edge of the area towards the Rapunzel premises.(…).

The Rapunzel premises correlate with two important pilgrimage churches nearby. These three institutions form an energetic triangle that has the potential to support the new visitor center and Rapunzel (…).“

Geomancy cannot be directly grasped and understood. We have to rely on our own experience. Rapunzel Managing Director Joseph Wilhelm describes his encounter with geomancy:

„After Marko had visited the site, everything seemed to work very simply and smoothly. And exactly during this time, we received the partial building permit for the visitor center.“

What's next? Rapunzel is already looking forward to a stone that was manufactured by Marko and that depicts a cosmogram. This stone will be a present to the snake, the guardian of the site, and will be installed at her place of retreat.

More informationn about Marko Pogačnik www.markopogacnik.com

First walls and contours: aerial photographs of the foundation

April 2020

Luftaufnahme des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums vom April 2020
Luftaufnahme des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums vom April 2020

Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang
Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang

Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang
Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang

View into the future with a time capsule

Foundation stone ceremony starts the construction process of the visitor center

[12.02.2020] Following the official start of construction works in the end of 2019, the project was brought underway on February 12, 2020. According to an old building tradition, the foundation stone was placed in the ground. The foundation stone was positioned exactly in the center of the building outline.

Joseph Wilhelm himself positioned the exposed concrete foundation stone into a hole in the ground. A metal globe was put into the foundation stone. This time capsule contains various contemporary objects as well as objects from Rapunzel's company history. The globe has a symbolic character for Rapunzel and symbolizes the faith in a righteous and liveable world where globality is not perceived as a threat but an opportunity. 

The ceremony was attended by the building owner and the future director of the visitor center, Seraphine Wilhelm, Rapunzel Managing Director Joseph Wilhelm and business manager Margit Epple.

Other participants were Edwin Münch from the building contractor Filgis, Martin Haas from the architect's office haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050, the mayor of Legau, Mr. Franz Abele, Daniel Bracke from Lerchenmüller GmbH, Monika Schulz from Transsolar and Rapunzel staff including colleagues from the susidiary firm Rapunzel Turkey.

Festive laying of the foundation stone of the new Rapunzel visitor center on February 12, 2020. From left to right: mayor Franz Abele, business manager Margit Epple, construction manager Edwin Münch, project manager Seraphine Wilhelm, architect Martin Haas and Managing Director and Rapunzel founder Joseph Wilhelm.
Festive laying of the foundation stone of the new Rapunzel visitor center on February 12, 2020. From left to right: mayor Franz Abele, business manager Margit Epple, construction manager Edwin Münch, project manager Seraphine Wilhelm, architect Martin Haas and Managing Director and Rapunzel founder Joseph Wilhelm.
Festive laying of the foundation stone of the new Rapunzel visitor center on February 12, 2020. From left to right: mayor Franz Abele, business manager Margit Epple, construction manager Edwin Münch, project manager Seraphine Wilhelm, architect Martin Haas and Managing Director and Rapunzel founder Joseph Wilhelm.

A globe filled with symbolic objects from Rapunzel's company history in the inside of the foundation stone stands for the company values.
A globe filled with symbolic objects from Rapunzel's company history in the inside of the foundation stone stands for the company values.
A globe filled with symbolic objects from Rapunzel's company history in the inside of the foundation stone stands for the company values.

For posterity, the foundation stone contains a current Rapunzel staff list, a toy VW van, figs from Turkey, a copy of the Rapunzel natur.post magazine, a copy of the construction and architect contracts, a One-World-Passport, the Rapunzel "golden hazelnut" supplier award, a jar of Samba nut butter and a jar with coffee beans, a book of the "March for a GMO-free world", a copy of the current Rapunzel Sustainability Report, a family shot and a photograph that shows Sebastian and Seraphine, two of the children of Rapunzel founder Joseph Wilhelm, a newspaper from the town of Memmingen, a Legau village paper and an issue of the current THANK YOU advertizement that was launched in support of the organic specialist trade.   

The base: aerial photos of the foundation

from January 2020

Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang
Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang

Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang
Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang

Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang
Der Bau des Rapunzel Besucherzentrums befindet sich in vollem Gang

Groundbreaking ceremony starts the construction of the visitor center

[28.11.2019] The groundbreaking ceremony for the new visitor center on November 28, 2019 is a big moment for Rapunzel. " The visitor center will be a place of joy, communication, information and knowledge transfer. At the same time, it will provide room for contemplation, shopping and celebration", describes company founder and Managing Director Joseph Wilhelm the idea behind the planned visitor center.  

The visitor center will transport Rapunzel's values and issues such as humanity, joy, sustainability and organic agriculture. "For us, the visitor center is a big investment in the future that will have sustainable and long-lasting effects."  
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of the construction works. From left to right: County commissioner Hans-Joachim Weirather, mayor Franz Abele, Edwin Münsch (Filgis), Martin Haas ( Architects haascookzemmrich ), Seraphine Wilhelm (Project manager Rapunzel) and Leonhard Wilhelm, Margit Epple and Joseph Wilhelm (executive board Rapunzel Naturkost).
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of the construction works. From left to right: County commissioner Hans-Joachim Weirather, mayor Franz Abele, Edwin Münsch (Filgis), Martin Haas ( Architects haascookzemmrich ), Seraphine Wilhelm (Project manager Rapunzel) and Leonhard Wilhelm, Margit Epple and Joseph Wilhelm (executive board Rapunzel Naturkost).
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of the construction works. From left to right: County commissioner Hans-Joachim Weirather, mayor Franz Abele, Edwin Münsch (Filgis), Martin Haas ( Architects haascookzemmrich ), Seraphine Wilhelm (Project manager Rapunzel) and Leonhard Wilhelm, Margit Epple and Joseph Wilhelm (executive board Rapunzel Naturkost).

The construction project with a total volume of nearly 25 million Euro net is Rapunzel's largest individual investment in 45 years of corporate history. The building will feature three floors including a museum and a visitor concept and will have a total floor area of about 7,560 square meters. About 50 new jobs will be created and 150,000 visitors are expected every year. The visitor center will open in the beginning of 2022.  

There will be many things to discover in the new building. In the museum and the exhibition area, visitors can inform themselves about healthy nutrition and ecology. The visitor center will also feature a show coffee roastery, an organic bakery shop and organic supermarket, a restaurant where guests can enjoy healthy and savory organic dishes, a culinary school, a yoga studio as well as extensive outdoor facilities. The outdoor area will invite guests to relax and picnic on their way further south. 

"Our goal is that the visitor center will produce a "wow" effect and that it will convey the following: that there is still something else in our sober world where there is increasingly less room for humanity and joy. Therefore, the building itself is not the most important aspect in this process. It is the people who will vitalize the building and who will transport the Rapunzel experience", specifies Joseph Wilhelm his thoughts on the project. 

Impressive architecture and low CO2 footprint

The architects haascookzemmrich Studio 2050 will create an accessible building structure that already integrates ecological criteria in its design. Resource-efficient construction with traditional building techniques can be seen at all levels of the building. 

The deep-drawn roof with glazed clay tiles replaces an artificial air conditioning system. Regional building materials with a positive ecological balance guarantee a small environmental footprint. 
© haascookzemmrich

© © haascookzemmrich
© haascookzemmrich

© © haascookzemmrich
„With this building, we will bring people, the world and the environment into balance", summarizes Martin Haas the architects' idea. "Sustainability should not be communicated by way of sacrifice but through joy of life. The organic shape of the building corresponds with Rapunzel's concept of closed cycles and the visual triad of the building practically reaches into nature". 

The Filgis construction company located in the municipality of Altusried will complete the project turnkey until the end of 2021. The visitor center will open its doors for guests early in 2022. 50 new and exciting jobs will be created by the project - another benefit for the entire region. 
© haascookzemmrich

© © haascookzemmrich

Creating reality ... project planning & details

  • building owner: Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH, Legau 
  • project management: Seraphine Wilhelm
  • architect: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050, Stuttgart 
  • main contractor: Gebr. Filgis GmbH & Co. KG, Altusried
  • groundbreaking ceremony: November 28, 2019
  • planned completion: end of 2021
  • planned opening: beginning 2022
  • planned total investment: 25 million € net
  • total floor area: about 7,560 m²
  • gross volume: approx. 31,400 m²
  • floors: ground floor, 1st, 2nd and 3rd upper floors
  • expected number of visitors per year: 150,000 
  • jobs created: approx. 50
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