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Sauter von Moos – high rise building

Category
School projects
About This Project

Master Projekt / Thesis
Gastprofessur Sauter von Moos

HOUSE WITHOUT FORM – In the Spirit of 1904: Munich Residential Tower

The time of around 1900 is in architectural terms a moment of transition: still stodgily and undefined, but full of enthusiasm towards the experimentation with the novel materials of glass, steel and reinforced concrete, the Belle Époque stands in-between the earlier historicist era and the later objectivism of Modernism. Mostly regarded as a ‘father-generation,’ its leading protagonists – one may consider Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Auguste Perret, Louis H. Sullivan, Josef Hoffmann, Peter Behrens, Otto Wagner or Victor Horta – all developed highly idiosyncratic designs that like the contemporary art sought to break free from the canonical tradition in order to embrace more abstract motives. In an overall attempt to achieve Gesamtkunstwerke that targeted all aspects of design – urban interaction, programmatic composition, constructive detail, and a pioneering spirit of innovation that is well noticeable also in the technical products of the time like the first cars by Henry Ford or the first motorized airplanes by the Wright brothers – form should ultimately more directly follow the inherent function a building performed and in a deliriously intuitive way find its appropriate expression. In sum, the resulting works were at once open towards the progressive implications of the arising industrial society, but also humanizing its forces by focusing upon the careful integration of the arts and crafts.

In the wake of that time’s adventurous spirit and engaging with one of its most notable architectural innovations – the high-rise – we intend to work this semester on a residential tower placed within the framework of Theodor Fischer’s Staffelplan in Munich from 1904. Not inteded as a polemic on the city’s apathetic attitude towards that particular building typology, the proposed projects will not exceed the lawful height of the Frauen-Kirche (98.57 meter), and the semester’s objective is to trigger an open discussion about that form’s potential to answer today‘s immanent questions of urban densification and the housing shortage in many places around the globe.

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