Doing Good

How reality capture is helping to restore a 500-year-old-building

October 24, 2022

Bringing history to life with reality capture data

The “Freilichtmuseum Hessenpark” is a living history museum that was established near Frankfurt, Germany in 1974. At the time, thousands of historic rural buildings were torn down to make room for new buildings and broader roads. But thanks to rising public awareness and opposition, some of the most valuable timber-frame buildings were dismantled, transported into the museum and reconstructed.

The museum now showcases no less than 113 restored buildings, which are visited by almost 250,000 people every year. Each one of the buildings needs continuous maintenance and every year a few buildings need a general renovation. The renovation is executed with great care and also passed down knowledge of how to work with historic buildings by craftsmen, architects and homeowners alike.

In order to work more efficiently with their buildings, Hessenpark is developing contemporary methods of restoration with the use of reality capture.


Currently, the climate crisis and rising energy prices are posing new challenges. As a result, today these buildings are even more at risk than in the 1970s. Therefore the organization is going further to discover traditional ways and materials that can ensure the structural integrity of these buildings. With the start of a new branch of the museum, the "Kompetenzzentrum-Fachwerk" (excellence cluster for timber-frame-buildings) we explore novel ways to make historic buildings fit for the future, adapt to climate change and use innovative methods like 3D printing with clay. This research requires constant monitoring, which is where DroneDeploy helps tremendously.

DroneDeploy helps us to maintain the collection of 113 historic buildings at the museum - to efficiently assess new damages as they occur and to plan necessary reconstructions.

- Karl-E. Feussner, Head of the Center for Timber-Frame Engineering, Hessenpark Museum


DroneDeploy gives the organization the ability to constantly monitor the effects of newly applied materials on historic buildings, closely watch if damage occurs and research how the damage can be prevented. The 3D models with Skydio 3D Scan and DroneDeploy make the upkeep and restoration of buildings much easier. It also adds another point of interest for visitors, who can learn about modern methods for restoration.

As for what's next, Karl-E. Feussner has big plans. In spring 2023, his group will start a new research project to test how to use DroneDeploy to repair their oldest building, which dates back to 1505, and to visualize and construct a new bridge across the moat.

Hessenpark is a nonprofit partner through DroneDeploy's social impact program. To learn more about the social impact program and apply, visit

View data from Hessenpark

View the maps and 3D models of the museum

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