Marienplatz is the square at the heart of Munich’s historic centre, historically characterised by buildings articulated in layered and coloured render.

Project Details +

Project Details

LOCATION: Munich, Germany

DATE: 2011

CLIENT: Kaufhof

STATUS: Invited Competition

SIZE: 2,050 m² façade area, 800 m² roof extension

Credits +


ACME: Nick Channon, Marc Dufour-Feronce, Friedrich Ludewig, Deena Fahkro, Elke Frotscher, Stephen Harker, Frederic Meurisse, Niklas Paegle, Neil Sansom, Heidrun Schuhmann, Bernard Zammit, Lizy Huyghe 

Marienplatz is the square at the heart of Munich’s historic centre, the location of the Old and New Town Hall and of many other valued historic buildings. A previous prominent department store on the square was one of the few buildings to survive the Second World War unscathed, yet it was demolished in the 1960s to make way for a Brutalist building clad in grey granite, designed by Josef Wiedemann. Corrosion of the façade substructure has necessitated the rebuilding of all exterior elevations.

The existing façade is unloved by many because of its monolithic size and bunker-like appearance, whereas the old building was characterised by large expanses of windows and sculptural articulation. In redefining a new façade for the building, we retained the broken geometry of the Brutalist form, but superimposed the vertical and horizontal subdivisions of the historic façade. New openings are made in the building – determined not by the historic window layout, but by the internal logic of the store. There is an exploration of how a rendered façade could be finely stepped to soften the existing Brutalist form.

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