- Palais: Henning Larsen Architects
- Client: Siemens AG
- City: Munich
- Country: Germany
Text description provided by the architects. In the summer of 2010, Siemens decided to rebuild its corporate headquarters at Wittelsbacherplatz in Munich. Henning Larsen Architects won the international architectural competition with a design that unites tradition with the future.
Siemens’ new global headquarters in the heart of Munich opens up the city. The ground floor – which includes green inner courtyards, a café, a restaurant and a fountain – is publicly accessible. This passage provides the citizens of Munich and visitors to the Bavarian capital with a new footpath between downtown Munich and the city’s museum district.
The building is composed of a volume where four rectangular, rounded courtyards are cutout. Inside the building, a central vertical structure – the ‘spine’ - connects the entire complex. The heart of the building, a roofed courtyard, is situated in the middle of the building and accessible from all sides.
Towards Wittelsbacherplatz, the building rests modestly behind the restored Ludwig Ferdinand Palais and by integrating on the backside still offers updated conference and meeting facilities to the new building. From the plaza you can stroll through the building to the Oskar-von-Miller-Ring – you move from a historic context to a contemporary.
Towards the Ring, the Siemens building has a distinctive and prominent facade that marks that Siemens - one of Munich’s globally renowned companies - is rooted in Munich and closely connected to the city.
One of the main architectural ambitions has been to promote knowledge-sharing and social interaction across the organization. In the new building, transparency is important and the 1,200 employees have visual contact with their colleagues across the courtyards.
The office levels are connected by foot bridges, creating a continuous floor stretching through the entire complex. The central interaction zone connects the various office spaces and represents the key concept behind the organization of the building.
All workspaces are arranged along the floor-to-ceiling windows in order to maximize the use of sunlight. The employees can adjust the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology in their areas as needed. Ample spaces offer open areas for sharing information and for collaborating across departmental boundaries as well as quiet zones for performing work that requires greater focus.
One of Europe’s most sustainable buildings
Siemens’ new headquarters combines an ambitious architectural design with high-efficiency technologies. The building meets the highest standards for sustainability and resource conservation and provides a modern, inspiring work environment for some 1,200 employees.
The new headquarters will consume 90 percent less electricity and 75 percent less water than its predecessor.
All the facades facing the building’s inner courtyards are slightly tilted and completely covered by triple glazing. The tilted facade increases the amount of natural light that penetrates the building’s interior spaces and reduces the need for artificial lighting.
Due to its sustainability, Siemens’ new headquarters building has received the highest certification possible (platinum) at the national level from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and at the international level from the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system.
The exterior employs building materials from the surrounding region. The more than 23,000 natural stone tiles that have been used for the front facade and the flooring comes from the Altmühltal nature reserve, less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Munich.
Siemens smart building technologies control the building and collects data from 30,000 data points to control the entire heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The people who work in the building can adjust the lighting and room climate to meet individual needs. The ventilation system in the meeting rooms uses CO2 sensors to measure air quality, and it optimizes the intake of fresh air.
70 kilometers (44 miles) of water pipes run through the building’s foundation plate. To ensure that the building’s climate is comfortable all year round, up to 100,000 liters (26,400 gallons) of water are pumped through these pipes via a high- efficiency ceiling heating and cooling system. In the bivalent heating system, heat pumps double as cooling devices, while ambient air and ground water are integrated as regenerative energy sources.