The “Haus des Lebens” (House of Life) hospice is to be built at the corner of Martin-Luther-Strasse and Weinbauernstrasse in Munich’s Giesing district. The area surrounding the site is quite diverse with different building densities and heights, different architectural eras, roof lines and features as well as a listed heritage building to the east and a two-story farmhouse to the north. Our design for the new build seeks to reconcile, and not just in terms of the urban context. It proposes a new type of hospice, one which is front and center in our society and a fixture of everyday life, embedded within the neighborhood in a way that is welcoming and evident yet also sheltered and private.
Thematically, the two-part structure links the permanent with the changeable as an analogy to the “tree of life”. On the lower levels, floor-to-ceiling windows alternate with cladded sections made of lime-green metal that look like a series of tree trunks. On the top two floors, which are each recessed, the vertical lines of the façade fan out like the branches of a treetop, sloping up towards the green roof. There are sheltered outdoor spaces behind them planted to change in appearance with the seasons. The existing boundary line forms a small forecourt at the corner of the site, giving the new urban landmark its open, representational aspect. A central foyer provides access to the interior spaces. Likewise at ground level, a conference room sits alongside a restaurant open to the public that overlooks the interior courtyard. The offices and medical practices on the two floors above serve as a buffer to the private areas upstairs.
The hospice rooms, housed on the recessed floors at the top, are an essential component of the building. Facing away from busy Martin-Luther-Strasse, the rooms have an eastern orientation and make the most of the row of trees along the site boundary. The interior design is warm and welcoming, with added outdoor space on the landscaped roof terraces and balconies. The idea is to break down barriers, create space for transitions and encourage interaction between residents, patients, relatives and staff. We designed the building as an architectural expression of the house’s philosophy – “Hope and life until the very last moment” – which is evident both inside and out.
Investor: Hospizdienst DaSein e.V.
Gross floor area: 2.530 m²
Vogeley, Philipp (Lead)
Uchal, Patrik (Project Leader)
knippershelbig GmbH, Stuttgart (Structural Design)
Ingenieurbüro Hausladen GmbH, Munich (Building Services)
hhpberlin, Munich (Fire Proofing)
Schmid Massie Studio