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Maximilian Forum in Munich

The illuminated boxes on the staircase balustrades at street level indicate that this is more than a normal pedestrian subway leading beneath the road. Originally, the underground space was planned as a shopping arcade, but this was never implemented. For many years, part of the space was used to stage exhibitions. Later, reconstruction of the surface traffic routes made the pedestrian underpass largely redundant. To retain an exhibition function and to provide a maximum of flexibility, two areas that had been divided off earlier were opened up and reunited with the main space. In the middle of the subway, an area 40 ? 14 m in extent was created that can be used for exhibitions, installations and other events.

The underground space is punctuated by four round columns of large diameter. As a means of articulating it further and to allow parts of the area to be closed off, the architect developed aseries of room-height, steel-framed glazed elements that permit a number of different layouts. The organization of this underground storey plays with the concept of movement. There are no completely closed-off spaces, noclearly defined boundaries. Pedestrians canwander about the entire area.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 6/2001

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