This new building compound right in the heart of the city of Munich stands for the progressive continuation of the exclusive culture and economy typical of Maximilian Street. A new cultural square defined by three new buildings, the extension of the Bavarian State Opera and two office buildings with shops and cafés, form an attractive new city quarter in the historic centre. Traces from past times and remnants of historical buildings have been carefully integrated into the new buildings and are exposed in both the urban design and the new building structure like objects found by chance.
The starting point for the design was the idea of a truly European city, a compact and complex urban grain with squares, passage ways and small streets, where urbanity is manifested not inside the
building mass but outside, in piazzas, streets and squares. Both public and private spaces have been carefully interlinked on Marstallplatz, a square that had scarcely been considered for urban development after the war and, as a result, had slipped to the back of peoples minds.
In a first step, the 19th century building alongside Maximilianstraße by the architect Bürklein was gutted and stripped right down to its street façade and then rebuilt as a modern retail and office building. The new glass structure facing Marstallplatz reflects the transformation into our times and puts this building in relation to all the other new edifices. The second office building is square-shaped, elegantly integrating a
historic hall of columns. Built around a slightly twisted central axis the building ensemble accommodates several diverse attractive public and private uses with shops, restaurants and offices.
Both houses set a frame for the Bavarian State Operas new rehearsal venue, which features four big rehearsal stages, workshops and administration areas, all compactly organised in a monolith-like
volume predominantly made of glass and metal. Its shiny body is partly translucent, partly opaque and represents a striking counterpart to the historic Marstall building by Leo von Klenze just next door. As an integral part of the project the newly designed Marstallplatz has once again become a place to experience, a new venue staging the citys many events and functions.