Company Headquarters in Munich-Riem
In the business district of Riem to the east of Munich’s trade-fair centre, this monolithic concrete structure turns its back on neighbouring buildings, positioning its entrance instead on the south side. This main front is a two-storey, transparent shop window, whereas the north elevation, through which the actual working operations of the company are reached, presents a more closed aspect. The only interruption to the continuous expanse of exposed concrete (see also p. 75ff.) is a black sliding gate. The building’s concrete walls, up to 70 cm thick in places, provide an impressive backdrop for the display of contemporary and classical furniture inside. The building, which shines like polished marble in the rain, is divided into three separate zones, each at a different temperature: offices and exhibition area in the south, the warehouse in the middle and a delivery courtyard in the north. The different expansion coefficients of the in-situ concrete walls are taken into account by incorporating reinforcement and restraints, without the need for expansion joints. A large trussed girder forms the structural backbone along the main axis, spanning between the stores and the offices, and forming the framework for a delicate glass pavilion above the stairwell. This serves as an attractive exhibition space and leads to a wooden viewing platform on the roof terrace. The materials used contribute to the atmosphere of simplicity and reserve. The steel components in the two-storey column-free warehouse were merely oil-rubbed and flame-treated. The post-and-rail facade on the south side is of pale birchwood in the interior and of coated aluminium profiles on the weather side. Free-spanning textile sunshades give protection here against strong sun. The matt grey of the exposed concrete walls, the black asphalt floor and the linear arrangement of the lighting create a cool, elegant atmosphere in the exhibition areas. Only the functional core in the open-plan office sets a contrasting accent with the bright red of the company logo.