0221 Atrium Houses Studentenstadt
Serial Refurbishment of Serial Structures

Studentenwohnanlage Studentenstadt Freimann, Haugruppe 6, Willi-Graf-Str. 3, 5, 7, 80805 Munich
2015 feasibility study
2016-2019 planning and realization
LPH 1-8
Studentenwerk München
2,295 sqm BGF
Muck Petzet Architekten
Muck Petzet
Maximilian Kimmel
Anna Steinkamp
site management/LPH 6-8
Johannes Geiling GmbH
Johannes Geiling, Michael Dietl, Jens Mühlmann
structural engineer
IB Hoch Beierlein
Konrad Huber Ingenieurbüro für Technische
VEplan GmbH
fire protection
K33 Brandschutz - Redner Wagner + Partner Architekten PartGmbB
landscape architect
Veronika Richter Landschaftsarchitekten

The atrium houses in the ‘Studentenstadt’ (student city) Munich were designed and realized by the architect Ernst Maria Lang at the end of the 1960s. The two-story houses, which are grouped in clusters, are good examples of a modest architecture of the late modern era that was enthusiastic about typology and repetition, but subordinated user interests. They were realized within the larger context of the student city, and are strongly integrated into the surrounding nature. Still in their unrenovated 'original condition', the design brief for the houses was to completely renovate them and make them sustainable for a budget considerably lower than the cost of building new student dormitories. To start off, 3 of the 16 houses were modernized as examples to test standards and floor plan solutions in order to determine the best approach for the other buildings.

In addition to the modernization, expansion options also had to be studied. The analysis of the urban development context showed that there is still considerable potential for densification elsewhere in the student city. Therefore, a densification of the atrium houses would be unwise, because of their connection to Munich’s English Garden. Cost analysis also showed that an expansion or side extension was undesirable, rather favouring ‘interior densification’ through the inclusion of the atria and the creation of additional living spaces in the previous side zones. Searching for the smallest possible intervention, decisions were made in favor of creating the most sustainable standards possible at the lowest possible cost.

The atrium was mainly used to store old bicycles and shopping trolleys, while the kitchens and common areas were quite small, it was obvious for us to convert the unused atria as new central common areas. The buildings had central sanitary facilities for about 20 residents. According to the requirements of the client, each room should have its own sanitary area in order to achieve a standard comparable to that of new buildings. The implementation of this standard and the necessary renewal of all building systems resulted in a relatively high level of intervention. The client also decided to completely renew the façade shell to upgrade energy efficiency and technology. Many small simplifications plus the decision to stay as close as possible to the existing floor plan, made it possible to achieve the target price of around 70% compared to a new building:

We were able to greatly reduce thermal bridges by cutting off former escape balconies and floor slabs that connected inside and outside. While by including the atrium in the new building envelope, the compactness of the building could be considerably increased. The old stairs and many of the apartment doors could be preserved. Not only was the new technical state almost comparable to a new building, but a new type of living was created through the conversion of the atria as common rooms. The new atrium houses are designed around these spacious shared rooms, that now span 3-stories. Additional residential units are housed in the former sanitary areas and kitchens. Without any external expansions, the number of apartments could be increased by 15% in this way. In the partial basement area of House A, additional communal facilities, i.e. a laundry room, and a party room were created. Although, the parties are more likely to take place upstairs in the atriums.

The new ventilated façades made of Eternit reflect the static principles of the original façades, but with their change of direction they do not simply copy the old façades. Since the windows had to be renewed, the opportunity was used to enlarge the windows a little, so that the new desks and windowsills merge. Even more than before, the housing forms the link between the student city and the park landscape of the English Garden. The houses have stayed the same, and yet they are ready for a new phase in the developing student city.


2020 Preis für Stadtbildpflege, prize for cityscape conservation, special mention


Muck Petzet Architekten

Architekt BDA Dipl.-Ing. Muck Petzet
Landwehrstrasse 37
D - 80336 Munich
E-mail: sekretariat(at)muck-petzet.com

The architect Muck Petzet is member of
the Bayerische Architektenkammer
(Bavarian Architects Association),
Waisenhausstraße 4, 80637 Munich,
membership no. 172838.

The authorisation to use the professional
title "architect" arises from the inclusion
in the architects′ list of the Bavarian Architects
Association. The architect Dipl.-Ing
Muck Petzet is subject to the legislation
and professional regulation of the Bavarian
Architects′ Law (BayArchG). The text of
the BayArchG can be read on the homepage
of the Bavarian Architects Association

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existing and transformed buildings
site plan
Studentenstadt Munich - about 2,500 sleeping places
existing buildings in the original state
entrances in the original state
new 2-storey entrances
atrium before transformation
atrium transformed in common kitchen
enlarged window openings with strong relation with the exterior
The corrugated cladding facade reproduces the tectonics of the existing buildings.
The inclusion of the atriums creates 3-story spacious communal kitchens
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