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Designhochschule, Staab Architekten, München

In Historical Array: University Building in Munich

Since its inception, the various institutions of the Faculty of Design at Munich’s University of Applied Sciences have been distributed over several locations. The move into the historical brick building finally brings everything under one roof. While the exterior of the two-wing, palace-like structure has remained unchanged, extensive renovation and updating work was required inside in order to adapt the building to its new purpose and to modern technological standards.

The architects first restored the original basic structure of the building, which had seen many uses and changes over the years. Further, they addressed significant flaws: the various levels in the building have been adjusted to each other, making all the spaces barrier-free. Moreover, a bridge on the first upper storey now connects the two wings, which had hitherto been separated by a rear courtyard. This courtyard is also the scene of the most extensive architectural intervention: a new pavilion functions as a space for exhibitions and events; as a public area, it forms the new centre of the Faculty of Design. A visibly new element, its room-high glazing and folded roof deliberately stand apart from the existing structure. A broad junction accentuates the juxtaposition of old and new.

Inside, as much as possible of the original building has been preserved. However, earlier renovations mean that not much is visible on the surface. The generous spaces are characterized primarily by floors of wood and polished screed, white-plastered walls and built-in fittings of grey-brown panels of engineered wood. The one accent is the untreated aluminum on the balustrades, doors and luminaires; this underscores the workshop character of the design college. The project has created restrained interior spaces that pay respect to the old building and let the spacious rooms speak for themselves.

What looks so clear in its completed state was actually quite complex at the planning and building stages. Just analysing the existing structure took up a lot of time. Additionally, parts of the construction required static improvements, while flaws in the 60-cm masonry had to be remedied. In order to bring the building up to date in terms of energy, the architects installed new windows and insulated the roof. But the greatest exertion involved the deepening of the basement: to make those spaces usable, the cellar floor had to be sunk 50 cm and the foundation underpinned by up to 6 m. However, the effort was worthwhile, for the Faculty of Design has preserved a charming old building that has taken up its new purpose with self-assertion.

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Further information:

Landscape planning: Levin Monsigny Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin
HVAC: Obermeyer Planen + Beraten, Munich
Elektrical planning: Koscheinz & Partner Ingenieurgesellschaft, Munich
Fire protection: IBB Ingenieurbüro Bautechnischer Brandschutz, Leipzig
Building physics and energy consutltants: ING+ARCH Partnerschaft, Ehingen
Laboratory planning: Dr. Heinekamp Labor- und Institutsplanung, Karlsfeld
Facade restauration: Steinwerkstatt Restaurierung & Denkmalpflege, Regensburg

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