From arsenal to faculty of design . München/DE
The light red exposed brick building in Lothstraße, Munich, shines from afar like a beacon to passers by. The former arsenal dating back to 1866 was painstakingly renovated by Berlin-based Staab Architekten over a period of ten years and now houses the Faculty of Design at Munich University of Applied Sciences. As the architectural gateway to Munich's creative district, it fits in seamlessly with the cityscape whilst also gaining a new identity as a central location for the design discourse of the city.
Over the years, the former arsenal of the Bavarian army has undergone many conversions and changes in use. The external appearance of the building, which is divided into one central structure and two wings, has largely survived unchanged. The room structure, which has, conversely, been heavily modified over the years, was to be largely restored to its original layout, updated to the latest technical standards and made fit for the complex usage requirements of contemporary design. The result is a harmonious dialogue between future-oriented design and historical building stock.
The building is accessed through the main entrance (and former coach entrance), which the architects have given a modern interpretation in keeping with its original structure. This has created a puristic entrance area with restored arches, white walls and ceilings, grey screed and untreated aluminium panels in the stairwells. Three materials dominate throughout the building and emphasise the industrial character of the structure: in addition to the mill finish aluminium, floorboards and built-in furniture made from cement-bonded composite wood boards contrast with the white plastered interior.
A corridor along the central axis leads into the glazed pavilion, which was created as a link to the side wings in the former courtyard. The extension is used as an exhibition space and stands out from the existing building due to its steel/glass construction and the cantilevered, angular roof. A wide gap highlights the point where old meets new. A steel bridge into the extension joins the building sections and leads through to the barrier-free stairwells and study rooms, workshops and studios behind.
In the new building, all of the courses of study of the faculty are brought together under one roof for the first time. The result is an inspiring place that offers space to allow creativity to unfold and that is tailored to design as the central discipline for overcoming the challenges of our time.
Fakultät für Design der Hochschule München
Staatliches Hochbauamt München 2
Staab Architekten, Berlin/DE
Hanns Ziegler, Jan Holländer
Date of completion
Barthel & Maus Beratende Ingenieure GmbH, München/DE
Steinwerkstatt Restaurierung & Denkmalpflege, Regensburg/DE
ADS 65 / ADS 80 FR 30, AWS 90, FW 60+
Words: Tina Barankay
Photos: Marcus Ebener, Oliver Jais