Here, visitors literally breathe in contemporary history in the truest sense of the word – the Junghans Terrassenbau Museum in Schramberg showcases the history of Black Forest clocks and of the company Junghans, one of the most famous German watch brands today. The museum building itself is a significant part of it. After its completion in 1918, millions of timepieces were produced until the 1970s in the unique industrial building on a hillside, a perfect setting for a watch museum. However, the building designed by the industrial architect Philipp Jakob Manz had to be renovated and modernised for two years according to historical monument conservation regulations. Where the employees' canteen used to be, is where the journey through time now begins. An entrance system from Wanzl Access Solutions ensures smooth access.
The Terrassenbau sits impressively on the steep slope of the Geißhalde. When it was built at the beginning of the 20th century, Junghans was the world's largest watch manufacturer and its production facility in the Black Forest was a symbol of efficiency, progress and simple elegance. The new reception area also meets these requirements. "During the restoration of the main building, we paid attention to every detail of the provisions for the protection of historic sites in order to make the unique atmosphere of the Junghans Terrassenbau tangible and to preserve its structure. The entrance area with the newly constructed foyer was, in contrast, deliberately modern and technologically state-of-the-art. As a result, we have created a link between the innovations of the present and the past," explains engineer Arkas Förstner (FH/Interior Design). With his company "fön,design", he designed large parts of the Junghans Terrassenbau Museum and was responsible for its implementation as the project manager. In the reception area he focused on a modern and, above all, bright design. He thus continued the tradition of Philipp Jakob Manz's building architecture. After all, the light-filled workplaces in the terraces are the striking hallmarks of the building. The products in the foyer were selected to reflect this: "The theme of design was a key decisive factor. We designed the entrance area with very high-quality, genuine wood elements and porcelain stoneware tiles. A special eye-catcher is our automatic ticket machine, which we installed flush into the room interior. It looks like an oversized smartphone and is in line with the aesthetics of our time," says Arkas Förstner. With its opening in June 2018, he also took over the management of the museum, exactly 100 years after the initial commissioning of the building. At that time, workers had to climb the stairs to the ninth and uppermost storey of the factory, which was 21 metres high. Nowadays, a cable-stayed elevator on the outside takes the guests to the top floor, the starting point of the exhibition.
But, of course, only if they have a valid ticket. For this purpose, the museum director had a combined system installed: "On the one hand, visitors can purchase their tickets at our museum counter, and on the other hand, the ticket machine in the foyer is available to them. With their admission ticket, they then go to a turnstile which is a fully automatic access control system."The high-tech entrance system is entirely from Wanzl: for the checkout area, a complete solution from a single source was very important to us. We wanted to make access to the museum as easy as possible, even when there is no staff present in the entrance area, for example during the supervision of registered groups."The menu navigation of the Wanzl V21 ticket machine must be interactive and intuitive. Each individual step is displayed on the 21'' touch screen in an easy-to-understand way, in German or English, as desired. In addition, LED strip lights signal the operating status of the respective fields of action in the vending machine housing. If these flash, they are ready for operation. In this way, it is easy to see what needs to be done. Payment can be made in cash or by EC/credit card. The machine then prints the ticket. The barcode reader at the Sirio turnstile in the next room scans the ticket and the journey through time can begin. Arkas Förstner is delighted: "With the entrance system, we always guarantee museum visitors fast, reliable and uncomplicated entry during our opening hours."
And it is worth every cent. After the unique ride in the cable-stayed elevator, the guests first marvel at the Engelmann collection of historical Black Forest clocks, music boxes, an original 18th century watchmaker's workshop, and the typical Black Forest cuckoo clocks. The museum then showcases the development of various Junghans suppliers, who formed their own industry sector in the Schramberg area during the heyday of the watch pioneer. Finally, the Junghans history from a family and entrepreneurial point of view is presented as well as the Junghans factory outlet selling the current collections. In addition to the impressive exhibits, the special atmosphere of the building makes the tour a true experience. A stroll through the 40-metre-long terraces takes one back in time to when precision mechanics worked side-by-side to produce true masterpieces. Among other things, approx. two kilometres of stencil dabbing, the renovation of thousands of square metres of oak floors and the restoration of almost 300 historic windows were necessary for this. An effort for which the museum was awarded the Baden-Württemberg 2018 prize for the protection of historical monuments shortly after its opening.
Is the commitment worth it? Arkas Förstner takes a positive view of the future: "It is still too early to take stock, but we are confident that we will welcome numerous visitors. Our overall package has the right mix: the Terrassenbau offers a unique museum site, the Junghans family has a definitive name in German industrial history and our interactive offerings, audio stations and films enable an intensive museum experience.“ In turn, the new access system helps with analysing visitor numbers. The management software ETISS ERP®, developed by Wanzl, in the ticket machine enables comprehensive evaluations in real time. "For us, the control function is a great help. This involves quantitative recording, but also the option of differentiating between paying visitors and visitors with reduced admission, people taking guided tours and groups. The daily sales report is also important to me as a museum director. I can see how many visitors came to the museum via the ticket machine or via the staff", says Arkas Förstner and adds: "The additional functions of the touch screen are also of interest to us. We would like to advertise ourselves in this way and are currently in the implementation phase."