Wohnen am Ring

München (DE) – Winner


Team Representative: Joost Hartwig (DE) – architect; Associate: Matthias Hampe (DE), Johanna Henrich (DE), Michael Keller (DE), Ingo Lenz (DE), Nikola Mahal (DE), Isabell Passig (DE), Patrick Pick (DE)  – architects

El-Lissitzky-Strasse 1, 64287 Darmstadt – Deutschland
+49 615 11 54 01 88 – info@ina-darmstadt.de – www.ina-darmstadt.de

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At the back: P. Pick, J. Hartwig, I. Lenz and M. Hampe. At the front: N.  Mahal, M. Keller, J. Henrich and I. Passig



1. How did you form the team for the competition?

The team consists of the staff of our office, the ina Planungsgesellschaft mbH. We are a spin-off from energy efficient building design unit of the Technical University of Darmstadt and deal with sustainability and energy efficiency in building.


2. How do you define the main issue of your project, insisting on how you answered on this session main topic: adaptability and urban rhythms?

The basic task is to deal with the existing noise exposure by Chiemgaustrasse. This burden has grown rapidly in recent decades, but there are good chances that it also decreases again in the future. For example by tunnelling the street (as it has already happened in other sections of Chiemgaustrasse) or the increased use of electric cars or public transport. So we tried to find a temporary solution until this condition occurs. The city must remain adaptable and urban rhythm for us is also meant in time.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

We decided very soon to use different elements for the noise protection and the required densification. As the Chiemgaustrasse is located in the South of the property we needed something to absorb the sound but let sunlight at least partially pass through. In this wall, the filter element, we put usages that are missing in the existing residential neighbourhood so far. For example small rentable rooms for all sorts of purposes as well as private gardens.


4. Have you already treated this issue previously and could you present some reference projects that inspired yours?

Although the situation is very typical for German cities, we have not worked on such tasks. For the container architecture of course there were examples like the "Puma City" by LOT-EK, the Freitag Flagship Store in Zurich or the Aether Apparel store in San Francisco (US). But as a noise barrier we did not know any example. However, we have chosen a uniform colour scheme. We believe a colourful patchwork does not fit to Munich and would be less accepted by the users. 


5. Today –within the era of an economic crisis and sustainability– the urban-architectural project should reconsider its production method in time; how did you integrate this issue in your project?

When you work with temporary elements, which also carry supplementary uses, which cannot be rented out by the housing association directly, the investment costs are important. Therefore, the sea containers: They are cheap, for $ 1,000 you get more than 13 square meters usable area and they are available in masses. Due to the economic crisis, many containers are no longer needed and this type of re-use is even better than steel recycling because it requires no energy. Of course, the container must be isolated and painted, still it should be inexpensive and the future users can also do a lot by themselves.


6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

It was our first participation in a Europan competition. We are all architects, but we work a lot in research and consulting. Perhaps the result may help us to link back our knowledge on sustainability and energy efficiency more directly to architecture.