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“If I want to discover something truly new, I have to maintain curiosity and confidence throughout the parts of the process where I don’t know what the end result will be.” GUNTER HENN
HENN is an internationally active architectural practice that can draw upon more than 65 years’ experience in the fields of constructing cultural buildings and offices, teaching and research plus development, production and master planning. Under the leadership of Gunter Henn and 14 partners, the practice has 350 staff in total – architects, designers, planners and engineers – based in Munich, Berlin and Peking.
Henn Architects draws upon the extensive wealth of knowledge that results from three generations of building experience, plus a worldwide network of partners and experts in various professions. Sustainable thinking and action determine the entire process chain, from planning to realisation and right up to completion. This continuity, in combination with advanced design methods, characterises the practice’s work.
But this permanent tackling of current questions also occurs within interdisciplinary research projects. Form and space are not just an end in themselves, but are developed on the basis of a project’s processes, expectations and the respective cultural context.
Skyscrapers, as buildings with high functional density but low space requirements, are becoming an increasingly important part of our cities’ urban structures. They have become one of the symbols of modern architecture, often define cities’ skylines and also become part of their cultural identity and iconography. Many of the existing structures that were built in a less environmentally friendly era than the present day require cost-effective and innovative methods for their preservation and reutilisation. The need to comply with ever-increasing environmental standards and to be able to react to new usage requirements resulting from constantly evolving lifestyles and a new organisational working paradigm: these are the global challenges that will be faced by architects in future. The HVB-Tower is an iconic piece of futuristic architecture that has been a part of Munich’s skyline since 1981. HENN has subjected this listed building, created by architects Walther and Bea Betz, to an energy-orientated refurbishment plus a complete redesign of the interior.
With the aim of transforming the existing building into a sustainable ‘Green Building’, the facade elements were recycled and reutilised. The greatest challenge of all was to ensure that its outer appearance did not change, while at the same time ensuring that the building’s shell meets today’s energy expectations. Upon completion of the renovation, the HVB Tower received ‘LEED Platinum’ certification, meaning that it complies with the highest internationally-established sustainability standard. Furthermore, the HVB-Tower is currently the only listed skyscraper in Germany to have been awarded platinum in this rating system.
CLIENT: HVZ GmbH & Co. Objekt KG
LOCATION, COUNTRY: Munich, Germany
COOPERATION PARTNERS: bwp Burggraf + Reiminger, R+R Fuchs, IB Knab, Climaplan, Müller BBM, a+p Architekten, Schmidt-König, LA Over, GT Ziegler