Architect MVRDV with N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele Architekten BDA, Munich
MVRDV Principal in charge: Jacob van Rijs Partner: Fokke Moerel Design team: Markus Nagler, Roy Sieljes, Jonathan Schuster, Sven Thorissen Visualization: Antonio Luca, Coco, Kirill Emelianov, Pavlos Ventouris Strategy & Development: Jan Knikker Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries
Partners Co-Architects: N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele Architekten BDA, Munich
Artwork commission: Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl
Images: MVRDV Pictures: Ossip van Duivenbode Structural Engineering: Wolf+ MEP: Teuber + Viel
Forming the nucleus of the Werksviertel-Mitte district, an urban regeneration plan on a former industrial site, the 7,700m2 mixed-used development located close to Munich’s East Station stands out with its bold and expressive art façade featuring five-metre-tall verbal expressions found in German comics. The design of WERK12 combines a simple form, honest materials, and transparent façades. Users can move around the building in multiple ways: the design’s external circulation core is supplemented by 3.25-metre-wide terraces that surround each floor of the building, connected by external staircases that curl around the building. The façade is animated by an urban art piece developed in tandem with local artists Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl, comprising bold lettering spelling out common expressions taken from the German version of Donald Duck comics. This 5-metre-tall lettering, and the colloquial nature of the expressions chosen, are a tribute to the graffiti culture and extensive use of signage found on the old site. The five floors of the building are occupied by restaurants and bars on the ground floor, the offices of Audi Business Innovations on the top floor, and a three-storey gym in between that includes one storey dedicated to a swimming pool. A key to the design was in the flexibility of the spaces. The building’s extra-high ceilings – with 5,5 metres between each floor – allows for level changes to be added by future users, as well as the placement of the circulation on the outside of the building means that the interiors can be easily reconfigured.