MVRDV's WERK12 complex in munich features 5-meter-tall exclamations

MVRDV's WERK12 complex in munich features 5-meter-tall exclamations

nearly two years after the project broke ground, WERK12 — a mixed-use building in munich, germany — is now complete. designed by MVRDV, the scheme forms the nucleus of the werksviertel-mitte district, an urban regeneration development on a former industrial site near the city’s east station. externally, the project is defined by its bold and expressive façade, which features 5-meter-tall (16 ft) expressions taken from the german version of donald duck comics.

mvrdv werk12 munich
all images © ossip van duivenbode



developed by MVRDV alongside local artists christian engelmann and beate engl, the lettering, and the colloquial nature of the expressions chosen, is seen as a tribute to graffiti culture and the extensive use of signage found on the original site. at night, the appearance of the building is transformed by its illumination strategy where simple geometries and honest materials morph into a vibrant lightshow.



‘the area of the werksviertel-mitte district has already undergone such interesting changes, transforming from a potato factory to a legendary entertainment district,’ says founding partner of MVRDV jacob van rijs. ‘with our design, we wanted to respect and celebrate that history, while also creating a foundation for the next chapter. WERK12 is stylish and cool on one hand, but on the other it doesn’t take itself so seriously — it’s not afraid to say ‘PUH’ to passers-by!’



the five floors of the building are occupied by restaurants and bars on the ground floor, the offices of audi business innovation on the top floor, and a three-storey gym in between. the building’s extra-high ceilings — with 5.5 meters (18 ft) between each floor — allow for mezzanines or other level changes to be added by future users. the external circulation core on the northeastern side is supplemented by terraces, while floor-to-ceiling glass walls ensure that the building’s upper levels offer views across the city.



project info:


name: WERK12
location: munich, germany
year: 2014-2019
client: OTEC GmbH & co. KG
size and program: 7,700 sqm mixed-use (gym, bars and restaurant, offices)


architect: MVRDV
founding partner in charge: jacob van rijs
partner/director: fokke moerel
design team: markus nagler, roy sieljes, jonathan schuster, sven thorissen
visualizations: antonio luca coco, kirill emelianov, pavlos ventouris
strategy and development: jan knikker
images: ossip van duivenbode
copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (winy maas, jacob van rijs, nathalie de vries)


co-architects: N-V-O nuyken von oefele architekten BDA, munich
artwork commission: christian engelmann and beate engl
structural engineering: wolf+
MEP: teuber + viel

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