Sueddeutscher Verlag, New Headquarters

Munich, Germany

LEED Golden Certificate
German Solar Prize 2011
Best Architects 10 Award
Recognition European Architectural Prize for Architecture and Energy 2011

The new headquarters building for Sueddeutscher Verlag in Munich is setting new standards both aesthetically as well as ecologically and economically. A crystalline building embedded in a new business centre was the image in mind for the design of the new administration headquarters for one of the biggest German publishing companies.
The designated location was the district of Neuhausen on the eastern outskirts of Munich, ideally situated with good access to the motorway, city links and suburban areas. This is a new work-space for up to 2.000 members of staff.
The building had initially been designed for 145 metres. In a referendum however the citizens of Munich had voted against the construction of buildings higher than 100 metres, so this posed a special challenge in the design process. The concept is inspired by formal principles from the era of classical modernism: harmony clarity and abstraction are matched with striking ludic 3-dimensional facade-structures both horizontal and vertical. After the redesign a slim, 100 metre-high tower is integrated into a six-storey base structure both linked wia a representative atrium of the same height. Inserted into a carefully designed landscape with a park and green terraces and hedges the ensemble frames an inviting entrance piazza and forms into a larger square together with the award-winning building of the printing facility of 1985 standing opposite.
The transparent atrium offers long views all around large terraces serve as spaces for communication where people find themselves in immediate vicinity to the impresive vertical structure of the high-rise tower whose prismatic facades reflect the surrounding landscape and the sky. With this effect, the high-rise tower accommodating a large number of single office spaces, team offices and communication areas appears to the human eye almost devoid of material matter.
The new high-rise building reduces the demand for primary energy by some 80% and saves up to 35% of the operating costs of comparable conventional buildings and is the first office building in Germany awarded with the LEED® certificate in gold.
This positive result is achieved by means of:
Double facedes with decentralized room conditioning units, own sun-screening and ventilation for each office, the use of geothermal energy and the seasonal storage of heating and cooling energy in the soil.
Carefully selected building materials improve the quality of life at the work places further and ecologically round off the overall design, from large townplanning down to every single detail.