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.