Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Siemens Headquarters Building

Munich, Germany

1983 - 1999

Occupying one of the few remaining open sites in the historic center of Munich, this office building is located on the block adjacent to the company’s existing headquarters, becoming the centerpiece of an office complex incorporating old and new buildings. On the south edge of the site are two older apartment buildings, which are subsumed within the new definition of the block. The main frontage is on Oskar-von-Miller-Ring, which cuts the site’s north corner, eroding the city’s orthogonal street grid and the edges of surrounding blocks. Historically, this intersection has been problematic, resisting the strong axes emanating from Karolinenplatz to the west and Ludwigstrasse, a monumental boulevard lined with neoclassical buildings one block to the east.

The building responds to its site in a number of ways: by integrating the Siemens office buildings into a coherent complex; by creating a strong edge along Oskar-von-Miller-Ring to maintain a continuous street wall along the ring road encircling the old city; by using the site as a bridge between the inner city to the south and north of the ring road; by drawing pedestrians into an entry plaza on the north corner; by considering the context of office buildings on the surrounding blocks; and by creating a sequence of varied exterior spaces within the site.

The building and its quiet landscaped courtyards afford its users an efficient and pleasant work environment and provide a respite from city activity. The building’s disposition around the two main interior courtyards offers a natural principle of organization for its suites of offices as well as a way of segregating areas of greater and lesser security. The entry plaza on the northwest corner of the site serves both this building and the existing building to the west. The plaza becomes the southern terminus of Amalienstrasse to the north, which houses Munich’s arts academy, and connects diagonally to the existing plaza on Brienner Strasse to the south.

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