Werksviertel-Mitte district in Munich. Welcome to “John´s Penthouse”: a two-story loft occupying the fifth and sixth floor of the Werk 12 building designed by MVRDV. A refined structural shell with all installations on display, the Penthouse sets the stage for a variety of uses and cleverly combines the public with the private. After the client and the architect first met on Instagram, they agreed that specifying very little while making almost everything possible was both the brief and the solution. The chronology of the spaces, the intentional transitions and zooms allowed us to structure seemingly arbitrary spaces in a sustainable, user-friendly way and create an architectural rendering of the concept of networking.
Spanning 620 square meters of space, the penthouse is divided into the main and mezzanine levels. The spacious foyer at the entrance takes up the entire height of the room, with an iconic chandelier providing a glamorous welcome by day and by night. Through the panoramic window, the eye is directed to a freestanding show kitchen, a sort of amuse bouche that piques your interest and provides a preview of what is to come. Standing on its own pedestal, the kitchen block provides both a work surface and a bar. A voluminous acoustic wall, featuring an integrated bookcase, guides the guests from the kitchen into the salon. The airy furnished lounge, which is spatially speaking the mirror image of the show kitchen, is an ideal spot for relaxation and quiet contemplation.
Another panoramic window from room to room reveals the studio space, which is set up as a home gym. A basketball hoop and wall bars await their users. Alternatively, there are two staircases that lead up to the mezzanine level. The lower room height creates an intimate space for concentration and retreat. A co-working space and a cinema-style presentation space are situated side by side as well as a small lounge and music room. At the back there is a comfortable bedroom with an ensuite bathroom: The penthouse becomes “John’s Apartment”.
With a glass façade on all sides, we create a direct like between the exterior and the interior as well as a fluid transition to the roof terraces. The experience of the space as vast yet enclosed, open yet sharply defined is echoed thematically in the furnishings, which can be flexibly reconfigured to suit different purposes. Guests can easily move the modular upholstered furniture into various groupings. Subtle in both color and material, the floors, walls and ceilings provide a neutral background for a variety of actors and props, leaving the raw charm and expansive character of the penthouse intact.
The city-center location, the views across downtown Munich. Right in the thick of it, yet also removed. A distinctive place that offers myriad possibilities for residents as well as guests. Its contrasts co-exist in dynamic tension, separated only by an impulse. “AAHHH” and “OH” and “WOW” are written in large letters across the façade… and that says it all!
Stetter, Veronika (Team Leader)
Jahns, Henrike (Project Leader)
Schöbe, Emanuel (Project Leader)
Krebber, Carolin (Project Leader)
OTEC GmbH & Co. KG, Munich (Project Controlling)
EtroPlan GmbH, Munich (Electrical Engineering)
Teuber + Viel GmbH, Munich (Building Services)
PMI Ingenieure GmbH, Unterhaching (Building Physics)
Brandschutz Kaefer, Grafing (Fire Safety)
Magazin, Munich; Menu A/S DK Nordhavn (Furniture, Decoration)
Anna Lena Anton, Düsseldorf
Stijn Jonckheere, Munich