In many large cities, the potential for creation of new space through roof conversions and extensions are already almost exhausted or limited by authorities. Basements are therefore increasingly coming into focus. Büro Wagner have converted a basement in the backyard of a turn-of-the-century building in Munich’s Au district into a two-storey office. The new unit is accessed by means of installations made of hot dip galvanized gratings.
Silver aluminium vapor barrier curtains at the back cover the kitchen, storage shelves, and passageways to the toilet and utility closets. At the same time, the reflective surfaces help to create more light. Curtains made of bubble wrap ensure privacy while allowing sufficient light into the interior. The building stock was preserved as far as possible and only the surfaces were refurbished. In the basement, the concrete floor slab was exposed and sanded. On the ground floor, the oak parquet floor was repainted. Furniture was realized exclusively from hot dip galvanized gratings. The steel furniture and fixtures were welded, which further reinforces the abstract nature of the object while shelves and the lighting fixings were built from hot dip galvanized cable trays.
Next to the office space unit is an apartment with direct access. The project makes it possible to mesh living and working in one place. The interventions were implemented from a canon of industrial materials: aluminium vapor barriers, bubble wrap, hot dip galvanized gratings, galvanized cable trays and recycled composite foam. These conventional, banal materials acquire a new value through processing and use in an unfamiliar context, and give the interior an abstract, temporary character that consciously leaves open the questions of use and appropriation.
Photos © Florian Holzherr, Kim Fohmann