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Jacob van Rijs

Founding partner, MVRDV


Project WERK 12
MVRDV has completed the WERK12 urban mixed-use building in Munich, Germany, with elements that can be adapted for use by different tenants.

Led by principal in charge and MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs, the 7,700sq m (83,000sq ft) development features restaurants and bars on the ground floor, a three-storey gym with a one-storey swimming pool on the middle floors and offices at the top.

The façade was designed in collaboration with local artists Christian Engelmann and Beate Engl. With 5m (16ft)-tall lettering which is illuminated at night, it spells out colloquial expressions that recall the graffiti found on the building when it was a derelict potato factory and part of the Werksviertel-Mitte industrial site.

Circulation was placed on the outside of the building to allow the interiors to be easily reconfigured, while extra-high ceilings, with 5.5m (18ft) between floors, allow for the addition of mezzanines and other interstitial levels as the needs of occupants change.

Terraces surround each floor, providing additional ways for people to move around the building. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow natural light in and provide views over Munich, particularly from the upper levels.

"The area of the Werksviertel-Mitte district has already undergone such interesting changes, transforming from an industrial wasteland to a legendary entertainment district," said founding partner of MVRDV Jacob van Rijs.

"With our design, we wanted to respect and celebrate that history, while also creating a foundation for the next chapter. WERK12 is stylish and cool on one hand, but on the other, it doesn’t take itself so seriously – it’s not afraid to say 'PUH' to passers-by!"

The building forms the nucleus of the Werksviertel-Mitte district urban regeneration scheme.

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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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