Klostergarten Lehel

In order to finance the necessary construction work for the refurbishment of their buildings, the Franciscan monks of the St. Anna Monastery have granted long-term leases for part of their premises to the Bayerische Bau und Immobilien GmbH & Co KG. Hild & K Architects were assigned with the task of planning an exclusive residential complex consisting of three buildings with a total floor space of 3,900 sqm.

Andreas Hild and Dionys Ottl were to take into particular consideration the close proximity of the neighbouring monastery and the history of the original development. It was their goal to ensure harmony between the monastic domain and the new family residences, rather than to split the distinctive complex into new and old. Although the former monastery building was dismantled because its small cell structure was unsuitable for conversion to living space, a reminder of its existence can still be found in the reinstalled neo-Romanesque window elements of the former refectory. The reuse of old elements is uncommon practice in contemporary building restoration, however, Hild & K decided to integrate these, as it were like spolia, into the new building. The old elements give significant character to the identity and structure of the new living quarters. The nearly 5 metre high arched walls represented a considerable challenge for the organisation of the new volumetry. The architects solved this problem by designing split-level units. Halls up to 4.5 metres high now provide access to further levels within the same apartment at regular floor height.

Facing the monastery garden, whose valuable stand of trees was able to be preserved throughout the construction phase, the facade maps this unconventional spatial organisation. Similarly, the heterogeneous nature of the modern and original elements is clearly evident. Although the new building fabric reflects its relationship to the existing fabric in its use of characteristic elements like the windows, dormers and tiled roof and the facade, too, corresponds in colour and in its structure with the use of different render thicknesses and surfaces. It does not, however, deny the historical difference, which so characterizes this building. The view obtained from the monastery garden clearly reveals the interplay between the old and new facade elements. The facade on Seitzstrasse on the other hand, as a heritage-listed part of the building, remains almost unchanged. The 33 apartments, ranging from 37 to 206 sqm, are accessed by generous stairwells and the flexible floor plans grant the occupants considerable freedom in the design of their living quarters. This is made possible via a reinforced concrete structure with a masonry shell that allows for large span widths. At the same time the walls guarantee a high degree of heat insulation in keeping with sustainable building techniques.