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Housing is a basic need and affordable housing is an important element of social cohesion - but it is in short supply, especially in Germany's large cities and metropolitan regions. To address this problem, the city of Munich seized the opportunity in developing the site of the former Prinz Eugen barracks and set social and ecological standards through the allocation of the land.

Architekturwerkstatt Vallentin GmbH
Planungsgemeinschaft MΓΌnchen GbR
Lukas Vallentin
MΓΌnchen, Germany
  • Lignosil-Verano
  • Lignosil-Inco
  • Biosil
  • Optil
  • Lignosil-Color
  • Concretal-Lasur

A quarter with 1,800 flats has been created that serves as a model for the whole of Munich and far beyond. In the southern area of the quarter, on five of 16 building plots, Munich's first ecological model housing estate was built at the request of the Green Party in the city council. Eight projects with a total of 566 housing units were built entirely in timber and timber hybrid construction - the largest housing estate in Germany made of wood. Only 20 percent of the flats are owner-occupied, 80 percent are rented. With this pilot project for sustainable building, which is unique in Europe, the city of Munich wants to establish modern timber construction in the urban environment and set new standards in climate protection, resource-saving and CO2-saving construction. Particular attention is being paid to the use of renewable raw materials (NAWAROS). Because building with wood will be decisive in the future with regard to long-term settlement development and necessary climate protection goals. In order to make the realisation possible, the city launched its own funding programme. The participants received a subsidy for the somewhat higher initial investment in timber construction. In September 2021, the Munich Department of Urban Planning and Building Regulations received the German Timber Construction Award for this showcase example. It is considered Germany's most important award for buildings made of wood.

Affordable housing has been created in the middle of one of the most expensive cities in Germany. Families with children, young and old, people from different income brackets and different backgrounds now live here and realise their ideas of neighbourly living together. This diversity is the programme of the "Munich Mix", a mix of different actors, housing types, projects and funding programmes. Those responsible attached importance to the activation and participation of the future residents, to community facilities, a good infrastructure with a simultaneous reduction of traffic, attractive open spaces with quality of stay, local supply within walking distance and networked neighbourhoods. In addition to flats, Prinz-Eugen-Park also has day-care centres for children, a primary school with after-school care and a day-care centre, a triple gymnasium with a swimming pool, a centre for the elderly and services, and a citizens' and cultural meeting place. There are also workshops, co-working spaces, a covered marketplace, urban gardening areas and much more.

As the market leader in sustainable, mineral building products, KEIMFARBEN was involved in a total of five pioneering construction projects in the Prinz Eugen Park, three of them in the model settlement; they are presented below:

Point houses and garden courtyard houses

The building cluster of two townhouses with eight flats each, twelve flats in the atrium and eight garden houses, forms a compact development whose elements are interconnected via residential alleys and residential paths. The buildings enclose a kind of village square on the inside, which serves as a meeting place for the residents. The pathways connect all the buildings, creating the impression of a homogeneous ensemble of buildings surrounded by extensive parkland and appearing to be interwoven with the surrounding area. The entire building area is barrier-free and designed in such a way that social togetherness can develop. The community house with an event room, guest flat and co-working space is intended to promote a lively community and personal contacts.

"Our office has had 25 years of experience with buildings in timber construction, so the project was technically nothing new for us," explains Margarita Lemoni from ArchitekturWerkstatt Vallentin in Munich. The exterior walls of the buildings, with a total of 36 residential units, are designed in timber post-and-beam construction. Interior walls and storey ceilings were made of cross-laminated timber, the staircases and flat partition walls were double-skinned for sound insulation reasons and glazed with KEIM Lignosil-Inco, a mineral matt interior paint for wood. All façades have a uniform design: The vertical timber cladding of rough-sawn larch boards was pre-greyed with the silicate greying glaze KEIM Lignosil-Verano at the request of the building owners' association Team3, in order to even out the varying levels of sunlight and weathering and to convey a uniformly calm, silver-grey patinated appearance from the outset. Horizontally running bands of weatherproof Corten steel with integrated angles for guiding the sliding shutters are intended to prevent storey-by-storey fire flashover. In terms of design, the horizontal bands visually connect the buildings and make the cluster structure visible. "The timber construction enables the passive house standard without much additional effort, which we have combined with low-tech and plus-energy concepts," says architect Lemoni. "The NAWAROS, which have been increasingly used here, will be a big topic for building in the future." The city of Munich is accompanying this project with CO2 monitoring to determine what storage and savings potential there is in terms of the greenhouse gas in timber construction.

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