MVRDV and N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele Architetken win the DAM Preis for Architecture in Germany 2021 for WERK 12 in Munich
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Frankfurt, Germany – WERK12 is located on the former Pfanni site near Munich’s Ostbahnhof station. For some years now, the area has been developing into an experimental urban district. Circumferential wide balcony walkways and cascading staircases characterise the building on the outside; its fresh, cheeky appearance is given by huge letters with onomatopoeia borrowed from comics on the facade. The open space in front of the building supports its appearance. It is no coincidence that the images of the Dutch Expo 2000 pavilion pop up in the mind’s eye: It animated the client to commission the building. Inside, the five-story building offers a high degree of flexibility for a wide range of user requirements. Additional levels are created by retracted galleries in the high rooms. Open installations and exposed concrete characterise the interior. A fitness studio occupies three floors, one of which has a pool. In addition, there are various restaurant uses and office spaces.

The presentation for the DAM Preis 2021 shows current architecture from Germany and remarkable projects by German architectural firms in other countries. For the DAM Preis for Architecture in Germany, the museum has nominated 100 remarkable buildings or ensembles. The nominated buildings for the DAM Preis 2021 had to be completed between the end of 2018 and the spring of 2020. The jury of experts nominated 22 projects for the shortlist of the DAM Preis 2020. From this shortlist, four buildings were nominated as finalists for the DAM Prize 2021, assessed on a jury tour and finally the winning project named.

In 2021, the award will for the fifth time be bestowed by Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in close cooperation with JUNG as its partner – as part of a phased jury process.

The shortlist covers aspects of housing construction, for example a modular building in Berlin that takes its cue from industrial examples, und a building complex in Nuremberg that cites the predecessor building in its use of ornamental spolia. Childcare centers are likewise featured, with two completely different solutions, the one a refined wooden structure in Ditzingen, the other the conversion of a somewhat unremarkable villa into an all the more refreshing childcare center in Memmingen. Just how varied can administrative buildings be? Indeed, just how can strongly can they foster communication? The head office of drugstore chain dm located in Karlsruhe’s Durlach district, which draws on anthroposophy for inspiration, is exemplary in terms of constituting corporate architecture. Not least, special builds that shape the face of the specific location are also shortlisted: They include the high-water protection structure and waterside promenade in Hamburg’s Niederhafen and the innovative wooden structure for the Urbach Tower in the beautiful Remstal surroundings, for example.

With the publication of Architekturführer Deutschland 2021 (Architectural Guide Germany) the shortlist, finalists and the prize winning project are presented in a handy printed version. Published by DOM publishers in Berlin, the book is now available.