ARGE MVRDV und N-V-O : Werk 12 - best architects 21


Werk 12

best architects 21

office/administrative buildings


Munich, Germany



Ossip van Duivenbode


Forming the nucleus of the Werksviertel-Mitte district, an urban regeneration plan on a former industrial site, the 7,700-square metre, mixed-used development located close to Munich’s East Station stands out with its bold and expressive art façade featuring five-metre-tall verbal expressions found in German comics. The design of Werk 12 combines a simple form, honest materials and transparent façades. Users can move around the building in multiple ways: the design’s external circulation core is supplemented by 3.25-metre-wide terraces that surround each floor of the building, connected by external staircases that curl around the building. The façade is animated by urban artwork developed in tandem with local artists Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl, comprising bold lettering spelling out common expressions taken from the German version of Donald Duck comics. This tall lettering, and the colloquial nature of the expressions chosen, are a tribute to graffiti culture and the extensive signage found on the old site. The five floors of the building are occupied by restaurants and bars on the ground floor, the offices of Audi Business Innovations on the top floor, and a three-storey gym in between that includes one storey dedicated to a swimming pool. A key to the design was in the flexibility of the spaces. The building’s extra-high ceilings – with 5.5 metres between each floor – allows future users to adapt levels and interiors.