Close to Marienplatz, in the heart of Munich, a historical and traditional street block was transformed into a new city space. Retaining largely the overall structure and the street façades, the intervention designed by Herzog & de Meuron took advantage of the existing buildings to create unexpectedly singular spaces. The city block was carefully opened up for pedestrian access, creating a network of arcades and courtyards varying in size and shape, every section with its own character. The old bank district became a new center of multiple uses as shopping, restaurants, art galleries on the lowest floors and office and residential spaces on the upper floors, totaling an area around 48,000 sq m.
The only new building constructed, on Theatinerstrasse, highlights the main entrance of the complex as it innovates on material use and at the same time respects its urban context. The glass façade covered by a multi-layered skin of bronze perforated elements has a dynamic effect in an contrasting open/ closed, heavy/light, dark/bright face.
The arcades and inner courts are field with artists works and other cultural amenities, like a huge spiral ball suspended over the center of one courtyard, the Sphere 2013, created by Olafur Eliasson.
Herzog & DeMeuron – Fünf Höfe, a mixed use cultural and commercial development, Munich 2003.
Credit Photo: (C) Margerita Spiluttini.