Hotel Werk 17

A former industrial site behind Munich’s “Ostbahnhof” railway station, with its converted warehouses and factory buildings, served as an event venue and refuge for artists and creative people for over twenty years. Following this “interim phase”, the so-called “Werksviertel”, or factory district, is now undergoing restructuring with the purpose of combining living and working spaces with restaurants and culture in a unique and unprecedented way. Special attention is being placed on preserving the distinctive character of the location. Accordingly, the façade of the Hotel Werk 17, planned by Hild und K München Berlin, responds to this industrial context with its materials of clinker-brick and concrete. Large-format bricks were inserted into elements of dyed concrete, allowing them to be arranged like scales, reminiscent of lamella curtains. The relief creates a vivid play of light and shadow that changes according to the position of the sun and the perspective. It bears comparison also to Munich as a “clay city” and the lively surfaces of its historic brick buildings.

The building was erected using a multi-layered prefabricated façade. This construction method is extremely pragmatic, as it combines the classical production steps of shell and façade and moves many operations into the factory. To optimise processes in terms of time, the corresponding elements of supporting shell, insulation and visible shell were produced in parallel to erecting the structure. Besides the façade elements, filigree ceilings and walls as well as the bathrooms were also pre-produced. At each floor, the construction process literally reproduces the finished house and therefore requires a very careful as well as technically and organisationally demanding planning process. Among the many well known advantages of modular construction are that it can be produced consistently and the production is not affected by adverse weather conditions. It is less known for its aesthetic appeal. Andreas Hild, Dionys Ottl and Matthias Haber are, however, breaking new ground in this regard: visually, the façade does not resemble any cliché of a prefabricated building. On the contrary, the precision with which the individual elements were manufactured determines their external appearance. The scale-like arrangement of the clinker brick slips would hardly have been possible on site with such exactitude. In the midst of industrial production, it bears witness to the craftsmanship of the manufacturer with whom the elements were developed.

The architecture even has the inevitable seams that come with this construction method contribute to the aesthetics. The arrangement of the precast concrete elements structures the view of this staggered building, which – pursuant to the development plan – reaches from a ground floor base, with an almost square floor plan, which becomes U-shaped up to the third floor and L-shaped above that. The over three hundred rooms of the owner-run hotel are located on six upper floors. On the ground floor, there is a lobby, retail spaces and small catering facilities. The three underground storeys comprise a car park with around three hundred and twenty parking spaces and numerous bicycle stands, which will be connected to the “Konzerthaus des Freistaates Bayerns”, a concert venue, which is to be built in the immediate vicinity. Extensive biotopes for insects and birds will be created on the roofs of the building.