'Am Hirschgarten', Munich

Wiel Arets Architects as Architects

Located on the western edge of Munich, near the Friedenheimer bridge, and adjacent to the light-rail lines that string throughout the city’s center, ‘Am Hirschgarten' is a campus-like cluster of four buildings, each of which entails a tower that rises from the base of every building’s plinth. The project’s urban planning requirements mandated economical, sustainable, and flexible buildings, whose programming could also accommodate a future conversion–for instance–into residential spaces. ‘Am Hirschgarten' therefore constitutes four horseshoe-shaped buildings, each with a plinth of six to seven stories. A tower rises from each plinth–the pinnacle of which is 17-stories; it prominently cantilevers from its plinth, which creates a landmark within the project. Only steps away from the ‘Hirschgarten’ station along the city’s light-rail lines, and just a few hundred meters from multiple stops along the city’s tram lines, the campus-like cluster of these four buildings is able to be swiftly accessed from within the city.


The courtyard of each building is offset from surrounding public space by a single story pergola; these pergolas are a buffer zone between public and semi-public exterior areas. Each is entered through a massive gate, which autonomously pivots open in accordance with office hours, for added security. Each building has a depth of around 18 m; this creates interior flexibility, and enables the office workspaces to be awash with ample daylight. All entrances are oriented toward public roads; this maintains a semi-bucolic character in the spaces between the four buildings and encourages pedestrian interaction. Public programmatic spaces are located at ground level, which is also the location of the proposed hotel’s entrance. Where retail is absent, office space occupies. It can be scaled to expand or contract, in order to create individual offices, combined offices, or open plan offices–made possible by the 18 m depth of each building. The flexible interior space, and the compact cores, together with the meticulous placement of all glazing, holistically contributes to the project’s energy efficiency.


All of the parking garages are submerged, and two of the four buildings are connected underground via one of these garages, which increase the access, and sharing of utilities, between two of these four buildings. The project’s façade is to be comprised of concrete panels, with an ornamental surface-texture relief, which is anticipated to allow the entire project to subtly mirror the tactile qualities of its immediate environment. Various sized floor-to-ceiling windows, some of which are operable, and some of which are fixed, further contribute to the high degree of interior flexibility. Glazing occupies half of the façade surface area, protected from solar gain by a computer-controlled algorithm, which can also be overridden by office employees, for added comfort. From the office interiors, inhabitants either look outward to Munich, or inward toward the semi-private courtyards–a view that entails overlooking multiple lusciously sprawling gardens, which will take root atop the roof of each plinth.

Kap West: Reimagines the façade with Dekton® by Cosentino

Cosentino as Manufacturers

Cosentino’s ultracompact surface Dekton® was the perfect solution in creating an urban, high-tech and architecturally sophisticated façade, for the extraordinary office building Kap West in the central Munich district of “Am Hirshgarten”.


Visionary, expressive and outstanding in every sense of the word. Courtesy of the Kap West building, Neuhausen-Nymphenburg is now home to Munich’s newest architectural landmark. The modern office building is raising new criteria with its innovative concept, maximum economic potential, top location, and high quality of living. Offering imposing views across the Alps and Munich city centre, the extensive 7,300 square metre area (MK8) in the new “Am Hirschgarten” district will be home to inviting, flexible modular office space over more than 41,000 m2. At first glance, the highlight of the expansive property is the façade made out of Dekton® by Cosentino. With its ultracompact surface, this ideal solution for the approx. 12,600 m2façade is showcased aesthetically, functionally and technologically. Sober and elegant, yet highly assertive and urban, it defines Kap West’s image from every perspective.


District development par excellence

“Am Hirschgarten” is a great example of how innovations in construction are able to shape and lead a district to flourish. Within only a very brief period of time, the area surrounding the Friedenheimer bridge underwent an impressive transformation from industrial wasteland to a promising residential and commercial location even flaunting its own tram stop. During this process of growth, the completion of Kap West by late 2019 will establish the surrounding area’s most prominent landmark. The ongoing site development between Arnulfstraße and Landsberger Straße limits the spatial conditions for the property developer, OFB Projektentwicklung GmbH, in realizing this challenging project. The spectacular design by Wiel Arets Architects, winner of the internationally announced tender, provided the ideal concept for Kap West. As the name suggests, the two U-shaped engineered plinth buildings – with towers rising 53 and 60 m high – resemble a monumental cape. However, the real eye-catcher of the complex is the taller South Tower featuring a cantilevered block with a sophisticated counterclockwise rotation, which hangs a good 18 metres freely above the ground. Last but not least, the campus-like layout of open spaces – including the green courtyards and roofs – rounds off the visionary design while showcasing a modern and contemporary workplace.


Dekton®: A façade with a view towards the future

Alongside a holistic planning of the building complex, the visual realisation of such a visible property primarily focuses on the façade design. In order for Kap West to be impressive from every angle, we needed to find a material meeting all the requirements of a highly efficient and modern exterior – yet also exuding an urban, liberal flair. The Dekton® ultracompact surface by Cosentino was chosen due to its extraordinary properties, innovative processing technology, and the possibility of choosing individual colours. The large-format panels – made out of highly complex raw materials, which are used to manufacture glass, porcelain and quartz surfaces – are the ideal choice to achieve the uniform look desired for the façade. In order to reflect the lively atmosphere of the “Am Hirschgarten” district, executives decided to use the Dekton® colour variation “Keon”, which is part of the Dekton Tech Collection. Its industrial colouring, inspired by the appearance and texture of concrete material, seizes the spirit of the urban environment – while underlining its unique expressive character, which makes the office building clearly stand out from its surroundings.


Efficient and functional: The perfect exterior

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, the planners chose Dekton® primarily based on its superb technical properties when employed in façades. Walter Schelle, the leading architect at HPP Architekten GmbH – the company engaged to carry out the project – sums it up as follows: “The basic requirements for a long-lasting façade are an impact-resistant surface that can withstand extreme weather and has a high degree of mechanical resistance. Dekton® fully provides these functional benefits, thus making it the ideal material for Kap West.” Through its highly effective compaction process – performed during manufacturing – Dekton® also guarantees consistent colour stability, frost resistance and consistent protection against seeping water. Schelle explains: “In the context of urban development, we can’t neglect facility management aspects such as graffiti removal. We benefit immensely from the panels’ resistance to stains and scratches. In addition to UV resistance, we achieve a uniform look for the façade with long-lasting and brilliant colours.” Last but not least, as a CE-marked material for exterior façades, Dekton® has the maximum fire resistance class applicable to the façade construction of high-rise buildings.


Highly modern tiling with a modular concept

Fassadentechnik Scharl, based in Ehingen/Donau constructs the structure of the building envelope making use of a curtain wall system consisting of 220-mm thick structural components with horizontal and vertical exterior pilaster strips (350, 550 and 750 mm wide). Dekton® panels are mounted on the curtain wall’s structural components using concealed aluminium anchors. Extra benefit: The surfaces are pre-fabricated and delivered to the construction site as custom (+/- 0.5 mm) façade applications – composed of Dekton® panels including framed windows with ventilation elements. This allows the shortest possible time to construct the façade and provides a crucial advantage when trying to comply with tight deadlines. The individual modules are manufactured by Rupert App GmbH & Co. Additional benefit: Due to its high material density, Dekton® is very thin (only 12 mm thick) and therefore relatively light compared to thicker natural and cast stone; this makes the façade appear refreshingly “airy”. The use of compact, high-quality surfaces also allows for precisely-cut edges without nicks. The corners can also be sharply mitred and bonded. The rear aluminium suspensions lastly comprise a uniform, joint-free cladding without any visible holes or other visual defects. This allows Kap West to fully display its aesthetic qualities.


Looking to the future

Kap West embodies the perfect unification of attractive urban and open space planning, efficient work quality and expressive architectural features. The complex offers flexible layouts up to its 15 floors (north building) or 17 floors (south building) with floor space ranging from 670 m2 to 2,100 m2 – facilitating efficient work that accommodates versatile work arrangements in a motivational, welcoming, and charismatic atmosphere. As a high-quality façade material, Dekton® not only helps create a memorable look for an urban business location but also helps create a functional and technologically advanced exterior – one that best supports the construction of a sustainable, durable, and economically viable building. By using this innovative solution – together with Cosentino’s high level expertise in terms of delivery volume and reliability – the total façade surface requiring more than 12,600 m2 can be obtained and installed on time. The completion of Kap West is expected by the end of 2019.

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