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The Swiss Open-Air Museum is – finally – getting a schoolhouseConstruction diary schoolhouse Unterheid

The schoolhouse in Unterheid, near Meiringen (BE), is currently being dismantled stone by stone so that it can be rebuilt at the Swiss Open-Air Museum. We’re keeping a construction diary, packed with all the latest about the relocation work, construction progress, the history of the building, background information and other interesting facts about this special project.    

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Mit dem Schulhaus aus Unterheid aus dem Jahr 1830 erweitert das Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg seine Sammlung historischer Häuser.

Construction diary entry no. 2, May 2024The historic school building goes on a trip: the dismantling process has begun!

It’s time! The starting whistle for the relocation of the historic school building from Unterheid near Meiringen BE has sounded, and the first steps have already been taken. The dismantling process has officially started, now that in-depth plans have been drawn up and bureaucratic hurdles overcome. Permits have been granted and there is nothing standing in the way of executing the project.

Mit dem Schulhaus aus Unterheid aus dem Jahr 1830 erweitert das Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg seine Sammlung historischer Häuser.

A building disappears – and a new chapter begins

The first step was to demolish the annex, which is not part of the historic school building. The focus is now on dismantling the actual school building and the associated building inspection. The excitement is mounting: what secrets will the old building reveal? What stories are hidden in its individual components?

The first phase saw the pergola and the staircase be carefully dismantled. These pieces have been put into storage, with defective or missing pieces of wood being rebuilt already so that they can be reconstructed at a later date at the Swiss Open-Air Museum. The roof and interior are next on the agenda. From mid-June, the masonry will then be removed brick by brick – a precise and challenging task.

Historisches Schulhaus auf Reisen: Der Startschuss für die Translozierung des historischen Schulhauses aus Unterheid ist gefallen.

The foundation is in place in its new home

In parallel with the dismantling process, foundations were laid at the new location in the eastern part of the Swiss Open-Air Museum. In the future, the school building from Unterheid will be rebuilt in the Bernese Oberland area, next to the pottery in the smallholder’s house from Unterseen, Bern (1051). However, the building needs a stable foundation before it can be relocated.

At its original location in Unterheid, the school building stood on soft ground in the alluvial area of the Aare and rested on a stone foundation. Over the course of time, this has led to substantial sagging on one side, resulting in a large crack in the masonry. The soil at its new location in the Swiss Open-Air Museum has different characteristics – some parts rocky, some earthy. A robust concrete foundation was chosen to prevent it from sinking unevenly. Made from concrete strips, this is intended to counteract the challenges of the uneven subsoil and provide the historical building with the stability it needs.

Dismantling and reconstructing a historical building are more than just technical processes – they are a tribute to the craftsmanship and history that is embedded in every stone and every beam. We look forward to following the progress and discovering the stories this building tells.

Stay tuned and join us on this exciting journey!

Das neue Zuhause, das Fundament vom Schulhaus aus Unterheid steht.

Construction diary schoolhouse Unterheid

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  • Historisches Schulhaus auf Reisen: Der Startschuss für die Translozierung des historischen Schulhauses aus Unterheid ist gefallen.
  • Mit dem Schulhaus aus Unterheid aus dem Jahr 1830 erweitert das Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg seine Sammlung historischer Häuser.
  • Mit dem Schulhaus aus Unterheid aus dem Jahr 1830 erweitert das Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg seine Sammlung historischer Häuser.
  • Mit dem Schulhaus aus Unterheid aus dem Jahr 1830 erweitert das Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg seine Sammlung historischer Häuser.

Ballenberg
Swiss Open-Air Museum

Museumsstrasse 100
CH-3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz

+41 33 952 10 30
info@ballenberg.ch

Opening hours

11 April to 27 October 2024
10 am to 5 pm daily

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