Architects: Erich Gassmann Architekten - Erich Gassmann, Tina Assmann
Location: Munich, Germany
Cooperation: Philipp Hutzler, Andreas Obermüller, Sebastian Filutowski
Client: Flughafen München GmbH
Photographs: Florian Holzherr
Munich, at the heart of Europe, combines the multifaceted state of Bavaria with unspoiled countryside and the pulsing life of a modern city. Between future and tradition – not a contradiction in terms but an expression of a special lifestyle, the unmistakable, unique identity of land and people whose landscapes are characterized by the impressive alpine panorama, mountains and plains, narrow valleys and natural riverscapes.
The VIP lounge is a modern implementation of a special identity, skillfully uniting progress and tradition. It can be experienced with all the senses: haptically – in the use of native woods, typical Bavarian materials such as loden, felt, leather, and broad oak planks; and visually – with maximum use of daylight, selective views of the famous white and blue Bavarian sky, and the proposed beer garden.
And the result? An island of peace and tranquility in the turbulent working day, a snatch of holiday between appointments, a perfect work oasis equipped with the latest technology, international flair with a Bavarian accent.
In the south wing of Terminal 1, guests have 1,200 square meters at their disposal, consisting of four separately usable suites, a central lounge area with gastronomy, business corner, and separate workrooms, rest area, showers and changing facilities, an interdenominational prayer room, as well as a smoking corner. The room conveys a feeling of the alpine mountain world. The falling and rising room recesses determine the conception of the room. The requirements on material and workmanship are manifested at different levels – from the oak-clad doors with their hand-finished brass fittings, the solid wooden tables carved from a tree trunk, to the sensual experience of the fragrant Swiss pine in the relaxation room.
In the reception area, the traveler is greeted by a typically Bavarian motif: a wall of untreated larch shingles covering the rear panel of the reception counter, which is developed out of the dynamically shaped wall.
The primary way from the entrée leads to the bar and a casually furnished area with a bench. From here, one can see into the depths of the lounge with its alcoves and recesses. The casual furnishing in fresh shades of green corresponds with the wool-covered bench and the elegant copper cladding of the rear wall of the bar.
Comfortable leather sofas and armchairs in the second lounge also invite the traveler to linger awhile. Even from the smoking corner opposite, the large glass window provides a view of the runways. Hand-finished tables of solid ash with finger joints represent Bavarian craftsmanship.
But the lounge offers not just relaxation: the Schloss Neuschwanstein Conference Suite provides meeting facilities for up to 10 persons. Under the slogan “Laptop und Lederhose”, alpine motifs such as the solid split-wood wall cladding are combined with the latest conference technology. The complete media technology, with video projector, electrically activated screen, and dimmable lighting, are integrated in the ceiling made of shaped lamellae.
In addition to relaxation at the bar or in the suites, the business corners offer a suitable atmosphere for quiet, subdued work and communication. Alcoves cut into the wall, with felt-cushioned niches and solid-oak tables, are equipped with all the necessary connections for the latest means of communication.
Those looking for a more dignified ambience for a meeting or a business dinner will feel at home in the Schloss Schleissheim Suite. This is connected to the Schloss Neuschwanstein Conference Suite by a concealed door and is flooded with light, providing an ideal supplement to the formal meeting. The wall linings of fine velvet, room-high semitransparent curtains, and furniture of oiled walnut, leather and textiles, and Bavarian accessories such as a set of real deer antlers, ensure a cozy, warm atmosphere. The corrugated lamella ceiling (with an individual design in every suite) emulates the typical, gentle Bavarian hill landscape. Suspended ceiling lamps and the decorative lighting complement the spotlights integrated in the ceiling.
The Schloss Linderhof Suite contrasts with a private bathroom, lounge and working area. Organic forms of free furnishing and illumination, and the floral wall lining of velvet in strong shades of pink, contrast with the historical portraits of the royal family.
The generous-sized VIP bathrooms are wellbeing for the soul. Selected materials and colors in the different sanitary areas ensure the necessary dose of relaxation during a travel break. In the ladies’ bathroom, for example, a freestanding, oval, conical washstand grows out of the floor as the center point of the room. The fine pattern of mosaic tiles in a variation of aubergine shades covers the furnishings and is continued on the floor and walls. A surrounding strip of mirrors optically enlarges the room and is loosened up by the circular, three-dimensional “light bubbles”. The spirit of King Ludwig II is everywhere. Even in the men’s bathroom, the King can be seen in an oil portrait, hunting astride a horse.
The lounge can be accessed both from the airport apron and from the land side through a separate security area. The reception is connected to the administration and staff areas for the lounge personnel.
At the official opening, airport boss Dr. Michael Kerkloh emphasized the high level of functionality of the ultramodern, technical equipment of the VIP lounge and in particular “the Bavarian local color combined with timeless elegance and friendliness”. He said he was convinced that with its VIP WING, Munich airport now has an exclusive comfort zone meeting the highest demands if its guests at all times.