The site, situated in the historic centre of Munich, has been used from the Sueddeutscher Verlag as a publishing house for decades. A new usage concept was developed for the area after the publishing company moved to a new location. The existing historic buildings, in parts protected, were complemented with new ones to an unique ensemble, creating a new urban living and business address, the Hofstatt, in the midst of Munich.
The design concept for the new buildings constitutes a clear distinction between the different time layers. On ground floor a shopping mall connects the different parts of the ensemble, the levels above are for residential and office use.
Four inner courtyards provide open space, each with a special character, each created to be enjoyed either by staying or by looking at it from a higher level. Opportunities for children to play are integrated in both private patios. The two courtyards open to the public invite to have a rest while shopping and offer gastronomic service.
Courtyard 1: The changing intensity of contrast between hard and soft landscape materials is the essential design theme of the private courtyard. The basalt gravel used as flooring shows different shades of grey, depending whether it is dry or wet, interacting with the intensive greens of the groundcover vegetation and the maple grove. The specific grid of the planting offers a high-contrast play of colour, which unfolds its special effect particularly when looked at from a higher level. The peculiar bark structure of the maple trees (Acer capillipes) adds a special all-year aspect.
Courtyard 2: The modelled surface paved with natural stone and crested with picturesque pine trees creates a moving landscape, which structures the courtyard area into zones for movement and zones to stay. The ridges and in part the slopes of the hilly landscape are formed as planting areas. The layer of almost black basalt gravel used as mulch there contrasts strongly with the light grey of the dolomite paving stones. A flock of wooden sheep and embedded swales filled with sand create a playscape, being naturally integrated in the design theme.
Courtyard 3: The special atmosphere of the small patio is created by a sculptural nagelfluh monolith, positioned on a paving made from the same material and planted with honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). The outdoor seatings of a cafe invite to rest and relax underneath the light canopy of the trees.
Courtyard 4: The busy courtyard with generous seating areas is flanked from the shopping mall on the northern side. The colour of the basalt paving stones is especially intensive if wet, so depending on weather, there is a change in the grade of contrast. A solitary wingnut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia), already higher than 10m at time of planting, makes a great visual impact but gives no hint that the ceiling of the basement garage is just below the pavement.
VVS Vermietungs- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft Sendlinger Straße GmbH & Co. KG, Munich
Meili Peter Architekten, Zurich
Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich
CL Map GmbH, Munich
2011-13, LP 5-8
Jörg Koopmann, Munich