Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fünf Höfe, Munich, Germany

The Fünf Höfe, in the center of Munich, Germany, is a mixed use urban redevelopment project designed by the architecture firm Herzog & de Muron. Finished in 2003, it is the first realization of a plan to reinvent the old town of Munich proposed in 1947 by architect Adolf Abel. The Fünf Höfe, or "Five Courtyards", is an intricate web of shops, offices, exhibition spaces and apartments connected by through passages that link the streets surrounding the block. There is little street frontage at the entrances to the 800,000 square feet of remodeled space within, the largest of which is seen in these photographs. This facade features folding shutters made of perforated metal, designed by the architects to give the user control of the amount of light allowed into their space. Another one of the most interesting features of the project is the hanging garden in the main interior thoroughfare of the complex. This is another example of the architects' inventive use of materials to create interesting and innovative spaces and buldings.

Will Wingfield

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