Between a small street and a busy railway line, between family homes and factories, close to the Würm river and the forest, the building site is located in the very northwest of the city, close to the administrative border, at a railway station of the express train that takes you both to the city centre but also further into the countryside and to the airport. It is green and quiet, big and noisy but also small and cosy.
Collective living has a long and strong tradition in Munich. Beginning with the first residence, the old courtyard, as the seat of the "princely residential collective" (this is one definition of the term "courtyard") through the monasteries of the Augustinians and Jesuits inscribed in the body of the city, as well as numerous examples of cooperative "reform housing" around the turn of the century. The naming, for example, of the so-called "Moll Block" and the so unique "Borstei" as an internationally frequently referenced typology, after the founders and owners, up to the residential courtyard buildings of post-war modernism in Sendling, Maxvorstadt and Obergiesing confirm this tradition of Munich.
Common to many of these urban spatial structures is their role as pioneers of collective life in the open, not yet clearly determined and occupied urban landscape. The large form then formulates an assertion of the possible. It is a sign of an expected togetherness in the city. An example of this is the setting of the Borstei on the edge of the then conceivable city - right next to railway tracks, gasometers and tramway workshops. The proposed project sees itself in this tradition of the self-confident setting of a collective urban building block: an overall formally conceived structure of different spatial situations, qualities and offers.
The buildings embrace the site at almost the same height. Various setbacks create a differentiated contour. The resulting form creates a courtyard structure in the interior. Towards the railway, the form is more accentuated by a fifth storey and thus corresponds to the position on the wide urban space of the railway line. To the west of the neighbouring houses on Eversbuschstraße, three-storey extensions create a familiar scale, mark the entrances to the houses and at the same time create addresses, places of neighbourhood and house community. At certain points on the ground floor, communal uses such as workshops for the bike, a small changing room and shower at the south-east fitness garden, a room for the house brewery and the pizza oven in the north create special places. At one point, the form opens up towards Eversbuschstraße, thus integrating itself further into the neighbourhood without publicising its interior too much.
What is special about living in the structure is the possibility of offering communal places and using them as a complementary feature in Allach. In the three-storey buildings facing Eversbuschstraße, for example, an orangery extending over two upper floors supplements the space available to residents and exposes a garden room of the entire house to the street. To the east, facing the noisy railway, open stairways lead to the flats and the roof gardens. The flats are entered through a winter garden that offers a wonderful view to the east along the railway. A bright entrance that allows for "quiet ventilation".
The various houses surrounding the courtyards are predominantly organised as spännert types. Only the building sections that reach into the courtyard space are accessed from the north, with short but widened arcades leading to the flat entrances. With the exception of a few studio flats, the ground-floor flats are designed as mezzanines. Generous balconies enliven the courtyard and enable participation. At the same time, they create a kind of filter to the collective interior space.
The design focuses on the differentiation of private and public open space. The courtyards, as private and semi-private interiors, experience a special addition to the open space offer in Allach by rounding off the form with the gardens. Accessible from all sides, the various open spaces make differentiated offers: The more urban garden in the north with the terrace for communal offerings, the spacious green space in the south facing away from the railway and thus protected from noise. Both are enclosed by a structured and green wall, which can be differentiated in terms of height and perforation depending on the requirements of noise protection. Inside the courtyards, reduced substructures allow for extensive planting with large trees, thus providing privacy for those opposite and shade for those enjoying themselves below. This offer of open spaces is complemented by the numerous communal roof gardens.
The buildings are planned as watery green rendered, monolithic brick structures made of insulating bricks. The reinforced concrete structures of the arcades and balconies are presented to them. Coloured drop-arm awnings provide good shading and cheerful togetherness for the residents. The white-painted windows are made of wood and complement the familiar impression of this Munich form of living. Offers of collectivity do not come at the expense of living space, they rather perpetuate the togetherness in the new home and are thus an indispensable part of the permanence of what is shown here: The Hortus Hirmerei