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Halle’s School of Applied Arts first moved into the workshops in the historic castle building of Burg Giebeichenstein in the summer of 1921. The city of Halle had purchased the so-called ‘Lower Castle’ for the art school and gradually converted it, following plans drawn up by head of municipal planning Wilhelm Jost and art-school director Paul Thiersch. Thiersch wanted the importance of the school to be reflected in its outward form.
First of all, the more than two-hundred-year-old manor house was renovated in order to make room for students, teaching staff and workshops.
Windows were put into the quarry-stone walls on the courtyard side of the sixteenth-century south wing. High atelier windows were added to the west side of the three-storey granary, stretching all the way from ground floor to second floor. They blend in discreetly with the façade of the granary and provide maximum illumination to the interior—even today.
The changes made to the Lower Castle mark a considerable achievement. Burg Giebichenstein School of Art and Design is to this day one of Germany’s most prestigious art schools.