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Steidle + Partner, KPMG-Gebaude, Munchen: Opus 48

Steidle + Partner, KPMG-Gebaude, Munchen: Opus 48 (Hardback)

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Text in German. Munich is lucky. A city that is at the top of the popularity scale needs nothing more than attractive building land. There has been a great deal more of this in recent years since industry and commerce have moved off to the periphery, barracks have been closed, the goods station and the airport have been relocated and the exhibition centre has gone to the empty site in Riem that was freed up. This meant that the Theresienhohe became an urban development area as well. Trade-exhibition halls were still being built around the historic parkland, established as an exhibition park around the turn of the century, in the 1980s. In 1997, an architectural competition was looking for ideas for an "inner-city, dense mixture of use for culture, as a central, for housing and commerce". The prize-winning suggestion by Steidle + Partner became the basis for further planning. The convincing feature was the instinctive sureness with which the practice imposed scale and urban character of the surrounded quarters on to the former exhibition-centre site.

The development proposal, which could be interpreted in many ways but proposed an easily remembered line, is continued in the architecture, with its sets of buildings staggered against each other. The first buildings to be completed included the KPMG head office, which emerged from a workshop procedure: the ground plan for the complex uses a meander pattern, completed at one corner by a high-rise residential building -- which means that the quarter principle of reversible residential and office use is demonstrated within a single block. A central entrance courtyard provides access to the office block, but there is access from the outside elsewhere as well, should the function ever be changed. The building rises to seven storeys, and is pleasingly disturbing because of the lively colours on its facade of glazed ceramic panels. The even staccato of the narrow windows forms a contrast with this. Both together give the architecture the appeal of a mysterious musical instrument -- certainly intended for very young, rhythmic music.

Architecture & DesignArchitectureIndividual architects, architectural firms, regional styles Publisher: Edition Axel Menges Publication Date: 20/04/2003 ISBN-13: 9783930698486  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Wolfgang Bachmann has served as editor of Construction World in Berlin and as chief editor for Builder in Munich, and is now its editor.

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