Chemnitz.ZeitWeise - Rediscovering long lost architecture in Augmented Reality



Reimagining historical buildings

The smac is Saxony’s only museum - a place where 300.000 years of human history can be explored and experienced in vivid detail. But there are always new elements or new sites waiting to be discovered. Together with smac, NEEEU created a unique museum guide - and accompanying augmented reality features - that allows visitors to explore the city of Chemnitz, enriching their socio-cultural experience in a new and imaginative way!


The challenge

How can we rediscover or even rebuild historical structures in urban space?

Location-based augmented reality

By building a native app with GPS-activated AR, we were able to rebuild the urban landscape across Chemnitz. Implementing story-based interactivity, this rich experience delves deep into the history of the city and asks you to participate across space and time.


Rebuild the city or watch it fall

Visitors are encouraged to become active participants in the dramatic changes the city has witnessed. They can observe the Church of St Paul (Paulikirche) - heavily damaged during WWII and later demolished - being rebuilt at scale before their very eyes! They can experience - in virtual space - the demolition of the former Soviet pavilion at the click of a button. Cities rise and fall, and this app allows you to reach out with your phone and bear witness to this history.

GPS activated augmented reality

At unique locations across the city, the app recognises the distance you are from the sites where these former buildings used to be and, when prompted, activates the AR visualisation. Returning destroyed buildings to their original location in the middle of a completely new cityscape is even more impressive when you get to witness the scale and variety of some of these structures!

Zeitweise app


View historical content about the places and a short summary.


The visitors view the Soviet Pavilion in AR.


The visitors blow up the Soviet Pavilion in AR.


Communicating across generations

Residents of a city know it best. The stories of the city live on in the memories and pictures of those who have experienced it closely. We asked residents of all ages to share their stories of the city, creating a unique connection between older residents and younger generations. Visitors can listen to these stories at specific locations and receive historical information prepared by the team from the archaeological museum.

Exploring the colour tile wall

When the app is started, content is automatically loaded from a Content Management System (CMS). This content is then dynamically assembled into a coloured tile wall (memory cards). The colours of the tiles indicate which category the content belongs to (personal stories, interactive 3D previous experience, direct access to the AR experience).