The old city with its towers and domes, traditional village centers and mature neighborhoods and protected open spaces should no longer be affected by skyscrapers. On the other hand, buildings that clearly exceed the 100 meter height limit set by referendum in 2004 are no longer taboo – provided that the location is correct and the architectural requirements are high.
The areas for such new remarkable buildings could be mainly the areas located along the tracks between the main railway station and Pasing, as well as the axis between the Vogelweideplatz and the fair. These are key messages from the new skyscraper study, the basic concept of which was presented to the Urban Development Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
The projects of two skyscrapers of more than 150 meters located near the Friedenheimer Bridge in the parcel post area have sparked a debate on the question of how far and where Munich can grow up. Opinions diverge: the innovative and spectacular architecture arouses joy, but traditionalists also worry about the typical cityscape. A year and a half ago, the city council commissioned a study on the towers to increase the objectivity of the debate.
The report, written by the Munich office 03 Architekten, is still in the design stage. The results form a basis for the high-level debates during the next municipal election campaign. Citizens and professionals will discuss the issue over the next year, before the new city council decides how to manage the results of the study.
For many years, the city council felt bound by the 2004 democratic decision that there should be no new houses higher than the Frauenkirche towers. But faced with tremendous growth, a shortage of space and a significant demand for apartments and offices, the wind has turned in the city hall. The 100-meter limit, which is incomprehensible in terms of urban planning, should not restrict the scope of thinking and designing for future times, according to the study. High-rise buildings, "as a typology of urban construction and an important urban design tool", constitute an important part of the subsequent development of Munich for Andreas Garkisch of 03 Architekten.
The commercial area located between Vogelweideplatz and the Messestadt Riem, where the Süddeutsche Verlag tower has been erected since 2008, is an architectural symbol and where the high-rise ensemble of Vogelweideplatz has a particularly high development potential for high-rise buildings. Councilor Elisabeth Merk wants the city council to obtain a corresponding plan in the coming year.
Andreas Garkisch pointed out that in the new report the requirements for architectural design are "much clearer" than in previous Munich building studies. For example, the greatest value lies in the design of the ground floor areas. They should be accessible to all and can also be equipped with arcades. This has contributed to the integration of high-rise buildings into public spaces, thus contributing positively to their environment. The application for opening for all also applies to roofs. Again, the idea of "sharing" plays a role.
The study makes it clear that simple glass showcases have no chance of being approved. The design of the facade becomes a decisive criterion. They must be well structured, have a spatial depth and thus allow a varied play of shadows and lights.
A specific catalog of criteria for the construction of high-rise buildings should make planners, project promoters, the public and politicians aware of the urban planning and architectural features of Munich's tallest buildings. In addition to the development plan procedure, a multi-step planning process should be put in place to ensure the high quality of the tower projects. It is only then that the acceptance of high-rise buildings by often very critical neighbors will be guaranteed. For example, we want to prescribe that facade patterns are made on a scale of 1: 1. Although it is expensive, but contributes to the quality assurance.
One particular aspect is whether there will be purer and purer residential buildings in Munich in the future. The authors of the study point out that skyscrapers are usually associated with higher construction costs. Low-cost residential construction is therefore only conceivable with "moderate development". The huge demand for low-cost apartments will therefore not be able to be resolved significantly by high-rise residential buildings.
In Munich, there are about 15 buildings over 70 meters high. They are mainly distributed in the Arabellapark, the Bahnachse / Südring, the Ostbahnhof with the construction of the Süddeutscher Verlag, the Olympiapark and the Mittlerer Ring North / Frankfurter Ring region. It is unlikely that one tower after the other will emerge from the ground. Striking buildings, yes, but not at any price, says the councilor. A style of investment in high-rise buildings is not what the thriving city of Munich now needs urgently.