Munich Concert Hall Competition


1st Prize project by Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten (image ©  Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten)

 

Until the early 1970s, architecture in Bavaria, and in Munich in particular, was not only viewed as traditional, but even leaving the impression to some as being ‘quaint.’ Then came the 1972 Olympic Games, which marked a watershed moment in design for that community. Not only was a contemporary solution for the site of the games implemented—the roof tensile structures designed by the German architect, Frei Otto was revolutionary—but a new cylindrical BMW Headquarters building arose nearby. Designed by the Austrian architect, Karl Schwarzer, as the result of an invited competition, the building became one of the city’s major landmarks—a prominent tower as arrival feature in a low-rise city.

 

Since then, numerous modern structures have appeared, both in the city itself and in the surrounding suburbs—the most prominent being Coop Himmelb(l)au’s BMW World in the city, Herzog de Meuron’s Allianz Arena in a nearby suburb, and Helmut Jahn’s new Munich Airport Terminal near Freising. Based on Munich’s long tradition as a center of music, especially opera, the city is finally moving forward with a new Concert Hall project, starting with a recently completed competition.

 

The Process

Supported by the State of Bavaria and coordinated by phase1 of Berlin, the competition was launched on 12 August 2016 and concluded with the selection of the winner and other premiated designs in late October 2017. It was an invited competition, with 35 participants in all—29 shortlisted from the RfQ and six preselected for participation in the design stage. The latter were:

 

• Gehry Partners, LLP, Los Angeles
• gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Hamburg
• Henning Larsen Architects, Copenhagen/Munich
• Herzog & de Meuron, Munich
• Schultes Frank Architekten, Berlin
• Snøhetta, Oslo

 

When the final submissions were received, 31 of the 35 invitees responded with entries. For those designs which were premiated by the jury, the following compensation was available:

1st prize: EUR 125,000 (w/o VAT)
2nd prize: EUR 100,000 (w/o VAT)
3rd prize: EUR 75,000 (w/o VAT)
4th prize: EUR 60,000 (w/o VAT)
5th prize: EUR 40,000 (w/o VAT)
Recognitions (total) EUR 100,000 (w/o VAT)

 


1st Prize model (photo © Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten)

 

 

The professional architects on the jury panel were:

Prof. Markus Allmann, Munich
Ldt. BD Kurt Bachmann, Chief Building Director, Head State Building Office Munich 1
Kai-Uwe Bergmann, New York/Copenhagen
Prof. Hannelore Deubzer, Munich
MDirig Friedrich Geiger, Head Section State Buidling, Supreme Building Office, Munich
Prof. Finn Geipel, Paris/Berlin
Prof. Harry Gugger, Basel
Prof. Hubert Hermann, Vienna/Leipzig
Prof. Hermann Kaufmann, Munich
Prof. Ulrike Lauber, Munich /Berlin
Prof. Arno Lederer, Stuttgart
Josef Peter Meier-Scupin, Munich
Prof. Dr.(I) Elisabeth Merk, Planning Director, State Capital Munich

 

Alternate Architectural jurors

Lutz Heese, Munich
Ltd BD Harald Löhnert, Head Section State Building, Government of Upper Bavaria, Munich
Susanne Ritter, City Director, Leader Urban Design, State Capital Munich
Prof. Kirsten Schemel, Berlin/Munster
Elena Schütz, Berlin/Zurich
BDin Christine Mantel, Project Leader Concert Hall, State Building Office Munich 1
MR Andreas Muschialik, Head Section IIA3, Supreme Building Office, Munich

At the end of the adjudication process, the jury settled on the following ranking:

1st Prize – Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten ZT GmbH, Bregenz, Austria
2ndPrize – PFP Planungs GmbH,
Hamburg, Germany
3rd Prize – David Chipperfield Architects Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin
4th Prize – 3XN A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark
5th Prize – Staab Architekten GmbH,
Berlin
Honorable Mentions:
• Henning Larsen Architects,
Copenhagen/Munich
• Zaha Hadid Architects,
London
• Mecanoo,
Delft, The Netherlands
• Christ & Gantenbein
, Basel, Switzerland

 

The choice of Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten as the winner only found one dissenting vote. Aside from fulfilling all of the technical requirements, the cruise-ship-like (or shed) configuration of the structure was greeted as a good fit for the neighborhood, not overbearing, but certainly presenting a recognizable icon in a less than upscale environment. This, although the main concert venue was located in the upper levels of the building—evidently hardly seen as an issue after the recent opening of the new Hamburg opera.


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Interview: James Stirling (Spring 1993) with Jorge Glusberg

 


Nara Convention Center Jurors James Stirling with Jorge Glusberg (right)

 

GLUSBERG: What do you feel are the basic components necessary for good design?

 

STIRLING: I think every building must have at least two good ideas. I don’t see the design process as a sudden blinding flash of insight. That might be true for a structure that has one main purpose, like a stadium or an office building; but, in my opinion, it won’t work with a multi-functional building. That, in fact, is what most of the projects in our office tend to be.

 

GLUSBERG: Then how would you describe your process?

 

STIRLING: We really try to be careful and conscientious in our analysis. We work in a very linear fashion so that the final design reflects the path of decision-making.

 

GLUSBERG: You just said that few of your buildings have a simple program: but what about the Science Center in Berlin?

 

 



Berlin Science Center (photos: Stanley Collyer)

 

STIRLING: Yes, you’re right. That is an office complex, but it also incorporates an existing Beaux Arts building that was remodeled into several lecture halls. In the office building we had to provide three hundred similar offices for researchers. We were looking for an architectural solution, rather than for a solution to the program which would have been very repetitive. So we created a group of five adjoining buildings surrounding a courtyard. The space between the administration, the sociology and the environment departments, the library, and the archive helped us to overcome the monotony of the program.

 

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