Visionary revitalisation: CSMM develops New Work design for office building "Fritz"
Munich, 5 September 2022 - It pays to preserve old building fabric. The planning and consulting company CSMM has proved this once again with the revitalisation of the commercial property in downtown Munich known as "Fritz". The building, which was originally built in 1973, was transferred into a contemporary architectural landmark in a resource-saving manner. This was achieved by implementing an innovative utilisation concept, redesigning the façade, and adding two floors. Considering the interplay of revitalisation and the efficient use of space through spatial planning allowed the architects to develop not only a concept that meets all requirements for new construction but also a building whose flexible interiors can be adapted to modern and variable New Work concepts for decades to come.
„We are very pleased that we were once again able to set a clearly visible sign for revitalisation and sustainable construction with “Fritz”,” says Reiner Nowak, one of CSMM’s managing partners. “Starting a redevelopment project from the shell of a building shows just how much future lies in old structures. Our goal at CSMM is to make full use of the potential buildings from the 1970s offer for creating spaces that foster innovation. We achieve this by designing floorplans in an open and flexible manner.” After the addition of two storeys from six to eight floors, “Fritz” is now not only one of the tallest buildings in downtown Munich; the project also demonstrates that one can design optimal office spaces for every type of tenant.
More flexibility and creativity
Approximately 4,500 square meters of flexible floor plans that are open for further development are the result of planning by CSMM’s architectural designers. The spaces offer great possibilities for companies to integrate their own space concepts which can foster creativity, concentration, and collaboration. “Besides preserving the building, it was important for us to be able to offer our tenants spaces they can configure themselves in order to establish contemporary and customised office concepts”, explains Jan Rouven Künzel, managing partner of project development company QUEST Investment Partners. “New Work is highly relevant here. The floorplans designed by CSMM facilitate agile ways of working and show that existing buildings can become home to modern working environments if revitalisations are accompanied by suitable redevelopment concepts.”
The newly designed façade with its large window fronts floods the offices with light. CSMM’s architects were able to make maximum use of the available ceiling height of three meters by running the HVAC-system above the ceiling. This way, a generous sense of space was created. Open areas in the cellar and on the ground floor, balconies on each floor, and an extensive rooftop terrace provide ample outdoor space and create additional communication zones. “We place people at the centre of our designs. People shape their workspaces, and it is our task to provide the appropriate spatial conditions for creative processes to take place within companies”, Reiner Nowak emphasises. “In “Fritz”, the variable use of space is the building’s defining feature: areas for communication, co-creation as well as concentration are all designed to create a “feel-good-atmosphere” and foster innovation. Now more than ever, we need these types of spaces to live and work creatively.
Increasing the life cycle of old buildings
Preserving instead of demolishing has always been the dominant approach for architects at CSMM – and project developers at QUEST Investment Partners. With “Fritz”, CSMM’s team has demonstrated yet again that redeveloping old buildings into modern gems is not only possible but also results in an increase in value and an improvement in appearance. The carbon-neutral preservation of the concrete used for the building’s initial construction significantly extends the building’s life cycle and is a sustainable investment in its future. This has been the focus of much of CSMM’s work for many years and is seen as an important social mission. “It is projects like this one that help us to achieve our vision of resource-efficient and visionary architecture,” Reiner Nowak, managing partner at CSMM, sums up. “By using a building’s grey energy which is stored in the building’s structure, we are able to implement a future-oriented solution through a suitable concept which makes a social and economic contribution.”
The design for “Fritz” was awarded an Iconic Award in the category “Innovative Architecture” in 2021, after the jury of the German Design Award had already announced the project as winner in the category “Excellent Architecture – Fair and Exhibition” for the design of the associated marketing lounge.
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