Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller
Photo © Stefan Müller

Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism at Königsplatz in Munich

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Brienner Straße 34, 80333 München
Landeshauptstadt München
landscape architect
Weidinger Landschaftsarchitekten
Lammel, Lerch & Partner Beratende Ingenieure GbR
Wenzel + Wenzel Freie Architekten Dipl. Ing. Partnerschaft

Built on the premises of the former NSDAP headquarters, the Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism is a fragmentary reminder of the earlier urban-architectural situation between Königsplatz and Karolinenplatz without reviving, however, the once symmetrical arrangement of buildings on both sides of Brienner Straße. On the contrary: rebuilding on the premises of the “Brown House” adds an asymmetrical accent to the square’s axial layout and will thus succeed in detaching itself from the existing topography which is characterized, even today, by the marks left by the Nazis and their reconstruction measures. The Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism will thus become, as it were, a new public location permitting a detached view of the historically burdened environment that consciously presents the square’s composition, originally designed for an axial perspective, from a different viewing angle.

While the compact, non-oriented cube occupies the place of construction, thus marking the historically ill-fated perpetrator site, it is simultaneously experienced, on account of its autonomy, as an independent object set into the surrounding space. The new structure does not revive typological elements of the historic mansion buildings, such as longitudinal street façade, roadside entrance, or frontality. It stands on its own in the green space that developed in post-war years, and is also entered from here. The green space establishes the relationship between the Documentation Center and the broader environmental context.

The structure has been designed as an exact cube, built from white concrete, with a building mass of 22.50 m x 22.50 m x 22.50 m. Its relationship to the surroundings is established by the square terrace on its western side, designed as a publicly available open space and built from the same material as the actual structure.

Large façade openings cut into the cube are patterned by vertical concrete louvers which give the structure a three-dimensional lay- out without compromising on its clear architectural geometry. The windows, which extend around the corners of the building, allow focused views on the surrounding topography. At the same time, they are exterior reflections of the interior layout featuring two-story atriums. The interior and exterior of the building are characterized by the predominant material: white concrete, a ready-mixed concrete produced from white pigment and white sand, in which the building has been entirely designed from the supporting cores and façades all the way to the floor and ceiling slabs. The structure, which has been left in the “raw” state, determines the exterior look while at the same time becoming the passe-partout for the intended interior uses, and in particular for the exhibition architecture.

The project report will focus on the design development of the Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism, which was completed in 2015. Designing all of the architectural elements done in white concrete, strongly determining both, the exterior and interior layout. It explaines the a conceptual viewpoint, focusing on questions related to style and transition.


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