A seventeenth-century monastery, which later became a hospital, is now the Jacoby Studios contemporary office complex
In the medieval town centre of Paderborn, western Germany, a seventeenth-century Capuchin monastery complex – which was later used as a hospital – has been transformed by David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) into Jacoby Studios, a contemporary office headquarters.
The original buildings, which were used as the St. Vincenz hospital from 1841 onwards, were damaged during the Second World War. Subsequently, the complex underwent several changes and extensions through reconstruction and later modifications. The hospital moved out in 2013; a year later, DCA’s Berlin office began work on the conversion and extension.
The transformation process included removing post-war additions and exposing the historic building fabric of the monastery. In particular, the chapel façade, the cloister, the east building wing and the seventeenth-century cellar were preserved and restored, creating what the architects call ‘a picturesque ruin structure’ made of quarry-stone masonry with the former cloister at its heart.
New extension wings, ranging from two to three-storeys and made from wood and concrete with generous glazing, were added to accommodate contemporary workspaces. These buildings were arranged in accordance with the monastery’s original orthogonal structure.
Through the historic entrance gate and the former chapel, visitors access the entrance foyer, a typically Chipperfield-esque open, minimal and light-filled space blending visible heritage with sleek contemporary additions.
The complex of monastery and annexes is embedded into a garden designed by Antwerp-based Wirtz International Landscape Architects.
Photography by Simon Menges