Why does it take courage for many to use colour in design?
The issue lies in the communication about colour. Decisions on colour must be justifiable and clearly explained; this is the only way to avoid colour being dismissed as a "matter of taste".
In a one-day workshop at 'Haus der Farbe' our colleague Tetiana tried out different colour and light effects and sharpened her eye for colour palettes, spatial mood and composition principles in interiors. They learned strategies for dealing with colour in space as well as playful connections with colour theory and minimal art. Afterwards, they tried out the different effects of colour and light in the model.
More information on the courses and other workshops can be found on the website: www.hausderfarbe.ch
We were part of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition in Bembo! Under the motto "Future Lab", international experts from the fields of art, architecture and science examine the future viability of architecture. Sustainability, youth and the continent of Africa are at the centre of the ambitious programme, curated by the Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko. "It is impossible to build a better world if you cannot imagine it beforehand," is the conviction of Lesley Lokko. One of her main concerns is to enrich the history of architecture with an African perspective. That is why more than half of the invited participants this year come from Africa or the African diaspora. Ancient building forms are also analysed from a new angle (the ruins of the ancient city of Toprak-Kala, which was built of mud bricks) and how they can contribute to tackling urgent tasks of the present.
Our project has looked at the urbanity of the future and presents four analytical approaches to spatial densification.
Our managing director Fabian Ochs, a self-confessed high-rise fan, was now asked about building upwards and how Munich can benefit from sustainable high-rises.
Read the whole interview with Fabian:
(JN) High-rise buildings are his passion, and he has been pursuing them for more than three decades: Munich architect Fabian Ochs is one of the experts and advocates of building to heights. After studying architecture in Stuttgart, New York and Zurich, and after years at the office of Herzog & de Meuron, he founded OSA Ochs Schmidhuber Architekten in Munich together with Florian Schmidhuber in 2000. We are pleased to talk to an absolute connoisseur of Munich high-rise architecture.
Mr. Ochs, you are a self-confessed high-rise fan. What do you consider to be the most successful high-rise building in Munich?
FO: I think a very successful and special high-rise in Munich is the HypoVereinsbank Tower, which was designed by the architects Walther and Bea Betz at the end of the 1960s and completed in 1981. With its unusual futuristic shape and seemingly floating top, it is one of Munich's few iconic buildings and a child of its time. The fact that the Tower was refurbished just a few years ago shows that skyscrapers can indeed be long-lasting and are quite changeable and adaptable. The Tower has managed to adapt to today's requirements for modern forms of work, as well as to adapt an energy-efficient building envelope. What also impresses me is that the tower already passed the 100-metre mark at that time and that they didn't get bogged down in petty discussions. It is also placed in the right location, the northern Mittlerer Ring in Munich is, in my opinion, an ideal location for high-rise buildings.
Why do you think high-rise buildings are important for Munich?
FO: In my eyes, Munich is one of the most prosperous metropolises in Europe, and high-rise buildings are a sign of modernity that can accentuate Munich's nevertheless very conservative urban body in the right places and in the right dimensions. It is always said that Munich is particularly densely built-up, but that is basically not the case at all: the theoretical figures are based on the fact that we have very narrow city boundaries within which there are hardly any undeveloped areas. That's why I think that well-placed high-rises can also make a real contribution to modern and sustainable urban densification.
What advantages do you see in "building to heights"?
FO: Building upwards creates a significant increase in density in certain places, which can bring about urban life and a mix of uses that go hand in hand with many positive urban development aspects. Among other things, one comes closer to the goal of a "15-minute city", one benefits from short distances, avoids traffic and can link up with the existing public transport nodes in order to optimally use the potential there. Redensification is a very important contribution to sustainable design.
What do architects have to pay special attention to when designing high-rise buildings?
FO: When designing a high-rise building, it is especially important to design a particularly beautiful building because it is visible in a special way. But it is also important to deal intensively with all aspects of sustainability and to develop excellent solutions. A high-rise building can definitely act as a role model in terms of sustainability and thus also promote much-needed innovation.
Your team is currently planning an ecological high-rise on Rosenheimer Straße. A high-rise that can generate its own energy. How will that be realised?
FO: We are planning a future-oriented building with numerous PV elements on the roof surfaces and on the facade. The modules are designed as movable lamella constructions that follow the path of the sun and thus increase energy efficiency. In combination with many other innovative concepts, we can achieve an energy-on-site performance of around 30%.
Last year you prepared a study on the topic of "Ecology in high-rise buildings". What is the conclusion of this study for you?
FO: My conclusion from the study is that there can be a real advantage in building in the redensification that can be achieved with high-rise buildings. The typology of a high-rise building brings challenges, but also opportunities in building technology, which can be very well managed with comprehensively sustainable building concepts. If we look at the requirements of the timber hybrid guideline, they are largely congruent with the requirements of the timber construction guideline. From a structural point of view, high-rise buildings can therefore be built in a sustainable manner. On the technical level, the requirements are somewhat more complex, but if you use the large facade areas for energy generation and plan skygardens and atriums, with a little brainpower you can very well create a hybrid and multimodal ventilation and cooling concept. In this way, sustainable architecture is also possible in the construction of a high-rise building.
Thank you very much for the interview!
Every day we are happy to see him, because that means we get served great food! The former DJ, hip hop magazine co-founder and food stylist Sven Katmando enriches us daily in our own restaurant OSAria with a variety of culinary delights. He told us how he plans our weekly menu and that cooking is not so different from planning a house.
What is it like to cook for OSA?
S: It's great to cook for OSA, I especially like the free menu design, without trying to confuse you too much with my experiments! You get to know your guests and their preferences. I also missed cooking hot food - as a food stylist, you're more involved with the technical side, so it's more fulfilling to be able to host again.
S: I've had a very warm welcome and I'm very happy to have so many nice people working at OSA. I particularly enjoy cooking for people you can get to know and who also bring an interest.
What is your connection to architecture?
S: When I create a dish, I always imagine it visually first, I think it's similar to an architect planning a building. When I plan the menu, I plan it linearly and logistically, how it will be implemented. For each dish, I imagine how it should look like, it has to be visually appealing and not just functional.
Where does your inspiration come from; how do you plan our culinary week?
S: I plan the week primarily according to feasibility and practicability - I start rather simply on Monday and Tuesday and then increase in complexity towards the end of the week. It is also important to me that everything is processed by the end and that the fridge is empty so that nothing is thrown away.
You have have an exciting history in music, why don't you tell us a little about this time?
S: I am a first-generation hip-hop kid. That's how I developed a deep love for music. Especially the 90s and 2000s were great years for me, when I DJed, produced my own music and also co-founded the successful hip-hop magazine Juice. I still pursue my passion for music, sometimes you get to hear that in the OSAria.
What is your favourite thing to cook?
S: Something different every day! The elaboration of each dish is always the most fun for me. At the moment I am particularly proud of my dish 'Mapo Tofu'. I have been working on this dish all winter and I can now say that I have mastered it perfectly.
A wish for the future?
S: A peaceful coexistence!
Our expert Simon answers questions.
What is considered a wood hybrid construction and what are the advantages of this construction method?
S: The term wood hybrid has not yet been precisely defined and established. at OSA we refer to buildings in which the load-bearing structure is predominantly made of wood as wood hybrid buildings. Building with wood creates a real reduction in CO2 emissions! Furthermore, construction times are significantly reduced due to the high degree of prefabrication. In general, the wooden surfaces achieve a higher quality of space.
Can OSA contribute as an example of sustainable real estate development?
S: By using the knowledge of more sustainable constructions and efficient commercial properties, OSA manages the balancing act between real sustainability in construction and operation and an economic realisation for the client. After all, building must continue to be worthwhile for the client; a building that tries to integrate everything technically possible in terms of sustainability and then becomes too expensive to realise is of no use to anyone.
Is a wood hybrid building sustainable?
S: I say a resounding yes! Cement is so CO² intensive in its production that it is said to be responsible for 8 percent of global annual carbon dioxide emissions. Wood as a building material is CO²-positive (1m³ of wood stores 1 ton of CO²) whereas, for example, 1m³ of concrete causes approx. 200kg of CO² emissions. It is also important to mention that in Germany approx. 1 m³ of wood regrows every second. For example, the amount of wood for an office building with 12,000m² is regrown in about one hour. More wood grows back than is used for construction!
(Read more about wood in Bavaria ￫)
What are the disadvantages?
S: I see the disadvantages mainly in the planning, as this is much more complex than with conventional construction methods. Due to the low component mass of the exterior wall and ceiling constructions, it is also difficult to meet the sound insulation requirements. However, the faster construction method is usually "bought" by a higher planning effort and lead time.
What are the costs compared to conventional construction methods?
S: One can expect about 10 percent additional costs compared to conventional construction methods. However, the price difference is becoming smaller and smaller, as there are currently considerable price increases for reinforced concrete.
What are the guidelines, what is the building law?
S: Fire protection must be guaranteed! The current regulations cover class 4 buildings, but we are rather in building class 5, which is not the regular planning. This means that an intensive exchange with competent fire protection planners and fire protection experts is necessary to be able to realise such projects. - "Freestyle", as one of our fire protection officers says.
What would be your ideal construction method, how can we build better in the future?
S: I think we should build more simply. Choose slimmer components, simplified layer structures with less complexity. Above all, standards need to be questioned and reduced. Especially the requirements for sound insulation.
What is your favourite OSA timber hybrid and why?
S: The project Kistlerhofstrasse 140, I have been involved in the project since the 2nd service stage and we are currently making great strides towards realisation.
What is your wish for the future?
S: Many beautiful wooden houses, in all shapes, sizes and colours 😊
OSA consists of a total of 21 nationalities!
We are proud to be an international office with a diversity of cultures and (design) languages. At the same time, we are all united by a passion for design and architecture. We believe that diversity and different backgrounds together bring a breath of fresh air and new ideas to our office and contribute to looking at our work from different angles. Here is just a glimpse of where some of our team members come from: Brazil, India, Sweden, Switzerland, Iran, Greece, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy, Ukraine, Slovenia, South Africa, Netherlands, Czech Republic and France. We welcome anyone who enjoys their work and has the desire to grow with us.
True to our motto Do it with passion - Do it with OSA!
Just in time for Easter, our new merch is ready. The design by our great graphic designer Andi is a reference to the shapes and silhouettes of our projects and the basic geometry of architecture.
Once again, we had our annual ski-weekend in beautiful Switzerland! Every year we are heading south to celebrate together and to bring our team closer.
Our first day already started with a celebratory evening beer at the parking lot and ended late after a special gourmet dinner at a local popup restaurant. Saturday was our mountain action day. Those who didn't ski could explore the mountain on a hike or enjoyed the day in the spa. In the evening we ended the weekend with an extensive cheese fondue in the mountain restaurant Prui, whereby some of us were glad that we didn't have to walk but could take the ski lift back down 😉. We are already looking forward to the next time and thank our management for the great weekend!
We had the pleasure to participate in the kick-off event 2023 "Hoch statt breit - Münchner G'schichten aus der Höhe" of CoreNet Global. Our Managing Partner Fabian Ochs was allowed to give a presentation on the topic of high-rise constructions in Munich. High-rises are currently an important topic with regard to the redensification of munich and other large cities. In an Interview about the sustainability of high-rise buildings, Fabian Ochs has made the following comment:
‘Munich is one of the most prosperous metropolises in Europe - high-rise buildings are a sign of modernity and in the right places and in the right dimensions, they can accentuate Munich's very conservative urban structure. Well-situated high-rises can also make a real contribution to modern and sustainable urban densification.’
At OSA we want to contribute to change
Our executive board member Julia joined OSA in 2007, four years later she was appointed to the Executive Board. We asked her what it's like to work in an industry still heavily dominated by men and why OSA was the perfect choice for her.
How did you get started in the field of architecture? Why did your choose to start at OSA?
J: Because of technical work in school, I decided relatively early on to study architecture. I was interested in how spaces and buildings are being created and how cities are growing or being designed. I am still glad after all this time that I have chosen this path, as young as I was. I am glad that I can still stand behind this decision.When I started working with Fabian and Florian in the office it was just the 3 of us. It was small, we started our first projects together and then it developed over the years.
J: At OSA, you have many opportunities and can develop well. You have the same opportunities and possibilities to grow no matter your gender or your origin - professional progress is not being made difficult for you.
What is your outlook on gender equality in the construction sector?
J: I believe there is still a lot of room for improvement. I own my role and of course, I'm not fresh out of university, but you still have to be smart and position yourself. That's something I always pass on to my young female colleagues.
What would you like to see in the future?
J: A very global wish is access to education, especially for girls!
As our first guest in 2023, we were pleased to welcome Stephan Doesinger to our Friday Lecture Series.
It was an inspiring talk about the possibilities of AI in the field of architecture and visual storytelling.
Future Urbanity – an analytical approach in spatial densification
How can an already built city evolve to meet the changing needs of its residents?
This is the question we are addressing in this project. Mobility, housing shortage, leisure activities and local supply are the core issues that move us in the city and all lead to the challenges of mixed use and densification.
Future Urbanity is a parametric experiment focussing on complementing existing building structures with modular components which represent the key aspects: mobility, living, leisure (sports & recreation). Social and structural needs of an urban ecosystem are reflected through the different modules clinging to the existing building structures and creating a new symbiosis.
May we introduce? We have our own Future Lab. It is led by Fabian Ochs and the actors think and plan for the future of the city, the resilient city, because "we believe in the power of cities". In the OS A Lab, new models are developed for a liveable, healthy and sustainable, communicative, communal as well as global life in the city. Munich gives us a lot of input for this. The Lab models can later be transferred to other metropolises.
Wow - 55 employees, how great to have so many amazing talents in our team. Together we work on making our office better and better. Everyday we plan and design new urban quarters and city blocks as well as hotels, modern working environments and apartments in the heart of Munich. Together we shape the image of the city and work on state of the art projects. We are looking forward to further cooperation with this great dynamic and creative team.
If you also want to be part of our team you can find our open positions here.
We are one of the winners of the German Design Awards 2022! We received the "Special Mention" award in the category - Excellent Architecture for the incubator in the Macherei in Munich Berg am Laim. Many thanks to the international jury of experts for this special recognition and to all those involved in the project.
Our design for the training and conference center of a Dax listet company in southern Germany: It should be spacious, modern and close to nature on one of the most beautiful lakes in Bavaria. Render @april studios
We are very happy that Hotel Sonne was awarded with the Iconic Award 2021 for Innovative Architecture in Hospitality! Combining a traditional hotel setting and historic elements with modern spirit. Convince yourself by visiting the hotel in Füssen, Allgäu and enjoy the royal flair! Find out more
The construction work on SouthHorizon (SoHo) in Koppstrasse is progressing very well. The underground parking garage with two basement levels is almost finished, the walls of the first floor are largely in place, and the first ceiling panels are already in place on Koppstrasse. SoHo is an exciting project for Obersendling, and its location next to the Siemenswerke S-Bahn station will make it an attractive location. Find out more
After about two years of construction work the new head office of the Sparkasse opened its doors on June 14th!
"Das moderne Gebäude ist gut gelungen, ein Blickfang, eine Bereicherung für das Erdinger Stadtbild. Es steht selbstbewusst, aber nicht überheblich da", said OB Max Gotz (CSU) at the opening event. "Avantgardistisch" und "sehr gelungen" sei das neue Gebäude, complemented chairman Joachim Sommer.
"Es ist ein tolles Projekt und hat bislang viel Spaß gemacht", summarized architect Florian Schmidhuber and handed over a symbolic Brezn-Key to OB Gotz and chairman Sommer.
(Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15.06.21; Foto Renate Schmidt)
Find out more
HOW WILL WE LIVE TOGETHER?
Definitely worth a visit - not only because we are present with two of our projects at Palazzo Bembo!
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition runs from 22 May to 21 November 2021, curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis. “We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together”, Sarkis has commented.
OSA is proud to be a new member of the USGBC!
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a sustainable, prosperous future through LEED, the leading program for green buildings and communities worldwide. We are looking forward to plenty new sustainable projects!
Hotel Sonne in Füssen is a very special location, designed with dedication and care to detail. Hotel & Design describes the symbiosis of old and new as "history & high-tech". Appreciating tradition and history, while adding innovative and modern elements. We can't wait for the first getaway in Füssen! Find out more
We are very happy that the building permit is granted and the demolition works start soon at Bayerstrasse. We are looking forward to an interesting project together with Allmann Sattler Wappner (facade), Bauwens and Ehret & Klein. Find out more
As the first district development in Germany, „Die Macherei“ has been rewarded with the sustainability certificate LEED Gold. Find out more
We are very happy about this great comprehensive article in the latest edition of Architektur International.
For more details about our Atlas project have a look in the magazine VIII/2020. Find out more
It's great that our project Hotel Sonne in Füssen is getting the attention it deserves. We created a variety of very special rooms and redesigned entrance hall and restaurant. A very special atmosphere awaits you! Find out more
We are very happy about the "Publikumspreis" of München Architektur! It means a lot to the whole Macherei team that the project is appreciated by the wider community. That's what architecture is for! Find out more
We are very happy about the great project completion of the Hotel Sonne in Füssen. Let´s hope the reopening will not be long in coming. Make sure to check out the relaxing atmosphere in the newly designed rooms and foyer area - a very special place to allow the soul to dangle. Find out more
Das Herzstück der ‚Macherei‘, unser Incubator nähert sich der Fertigstellung! Mit einer Ziegelsteinfassade und einer aufgesetzten Stahl-Glas-Architektur haben wir Raum für die ersten Macher im neuen Stadtquartier geschaffen. Nach dem Jahreswechsel ziehen die Mieter in den Incubator ein und die ‚Macherei‘ füllt sich mit Leben, Kreativität und Innovation. Find out more
Das Atlas Hochhaus hat nicht nur unseren Bauherrn, die heutigen Nutzer und die Presse überzeugt, sondern auch die hochkarätige Fach-Jury der Iconic Awards 2020. Sie zeichnete Atlas mit dem höchsten Preis aus: ‚best of best‘. Wir freuen uns sehr über diese Auszeichnung für diese sehr besondere Projekt! Find out more
Bye bye 2020!
To end the year right....