MVRDV introduces a radical approach to a former industrial site with WERK12, a transparent 9,600m2 mixed-used development located close to Munich’s East Station. The project, commissioned by OTEC GmbH & Co. KG, connects past to present, a new innovative and expressive building for sports, work, gastronomy, and entertainment emerges from a former manufacturing site. An expressive lettered glass façade allows a dialogue with its surroundings with completion set for 2019.
WERK12 is located on a former industrial site in Munich’s new emerging area, Werksviertel, close to the historic city centre and right next to the city’s east railway station. The new building draws inspiration from its industrial heritage, a former Pfanni food factory and will become part of a lively and dynamic urban district. Commissioned by OTEC GmbH & Co. KG as part of a 40-hectare urban regeneration masterplan to create around 1,200 new homes and up to 7,000 new jobs, the building will offer loft-style offices, restaurants, a skyline swimming pool, sports facilities and day to night time entertainment. The new Concert Hall Munich will be located in Werksviertel Mitte in the coming years. “WERK12 is totally unique and entirely new for Munich and is a strong contrast to the historic centre just ten minutes away”, says Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV co-founder. “ It is a flexible and completely user adaptable building with spaces that can transform over time with bold and expressive texts on the façade are visible from a distance….This transparent building becomes a new focal point on the new Plaza that will form the heart of the Werksviertel.’’
The challenge here was to draw inspiration from an old informal and industrial heritage and create a new, flexible and multi-layered building suited to different users, whilst maintaining well-lit and airy industrial spaces. All five floors have a ceiling height of more than 5 meters which allows for split levels. A pool located on level three offers panoramic views of the city. The main circulation is through stairs that wrap around the building from street level, leading to an elevated public route in the skies. The buildings core and fire escapes are on the outside and allow deep and flexible spaces inside. A contemporary warehouse for individual use.
The façade is fronted by 5m high letters designed by local artists Engelmann and Engl. The artwork of expressive words are a nod to Graffiti culture that has been present in the area for years and rather than actual spell words, they display the emotional qualities of the building with ‘AAHHH’, ‘OH’, ‘WOW’, ‘HI HI’ and ‘PUH’. The ultimate contrast happens at night when with a lit up façade, the building becomes luminous showing off its inner functions. WERK12 is a transparent reincarnation of industrial times as the city of Munich looks to the future. The building allows for maximum daylight due to bring open spaces and high ceilings combined with airy and flexible spaces that can be adapted over time. The panoramic stairs are linked to 3.25 meter wide terraces surrounding each floor generating shading, outdoor activities and circulation at the same time.
MVRDV is working with co-architect Nuyken von Oefele Architekten BDA, Munich on design, Wolf + on structural engineering and Teuber + Viel on MEP. The project is the firm’s third in the city following completions of Barcode House, a private residence, Unterföhring Park Village, a 23,000m2 flexible office park. Construction began early November and a completion date is set for February 2019.