MVRDV’s WERK12 named best new building in Germany


The Deutsches Architekturmuseum has awarded the 2021 DAM Preis to MVRDV’s WERK12, a mixed-use building that serves as the focal point in Munich’s Werksviertel-Mitte district. As the winner of the award WERK12 is the highlight of the DAM Preis exhibition, which will open as soon as Covid-19 restrictions will allow, and headlines the German Architecture Yearbook 2021.

The DAM Preis für Architektur in Deutschland is the most prestigious architecture award in Germany. Since 2007, the Deutsches Architekturmuseum has awarded the prize annually to the best new building in Germany. Each year, the museum selects a list of 100 nominees, which a jury composed of architects, critics, and other experts narrows down through successive rounds before finally crowning a winner.

Completed in 2019 with co-architects N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele Architekten, WERK12 forms the nucleus of Werksviertel-Mitte, a formerly industrial area close to Munich’s East Station that is regenerating into a key district for creative industries, leisure, and more. The mixed-use building containing restaurants and bars, offices, and a three-storey gym with a pool, stands out thanks to its bold and expressive façade featuring five-metre-tall lettering.

This urban art piece was developed in tandem with local artists Engl&Engelmann who, expanding on MVRDV’s proposal to add lettering to the façade, selected verbal expressions found in German comics to give the project a playful attitude. WERK12 combines a simple form, honest materials, and transparent façades. These are connected by external staircases curling around the building to connect these generous open spaces. Source and photos Courtesy of MVRDV.

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