Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Sunday was a lazy museum day, as you read a couple days ago. But Monday was significantly more awesome. I started off the day after having gotten 9 hours of awesome sleep and was ready to greet the day. Our first stop in the morning was the Olympic Grounds from the 1972 Olympics.

Hills and stuff

It was completely awesome. We approached the site by hiking up some hills. The hills were completely man-made, all of the area surrounding that was flat. But apparently, after the war, Munich just piled up all the rubble into this area (over 70% of the city was bombed). The landscape architect for the job decided to use that rubble and turn it into beautiful landscaped hills that hint back to English Gardens. It was interesting, as you hike up the hill you can see peeks of the stadium, but the whole view of the area is denied from you until you reach the peak of the hills.

A fake English Countryside and THE OLYMPICS WHAT

And it was GLORIOUS. It was supposed to rain that day, but the clouds broke just as we reached the top of the hill. We could see all over the Olympic grounds, which are very cool. The architect of the project was only 21 or so when he received the commission for the project, and he pushed the envelope as far as tent structures are concerned. Nothing like this pavilion and stadium had ever been built before.

Coolest thing ever.


We walked around the exterior and tried to sneak into the buildings, but there was lots of construction going on. So we went into the "schwimmhalle" to visit the pool. It was such an interesting building. Pools need lots of insulation to keep the temperature inside the pool area at a constant warm temperature, so the big question then is how to keep a tent insulated. The solution was to have a double skinned tent, with the exterior tent and interior tent working together to trap and heat air in between them. The gap between the tent and the windows was sealed with a big bubble strip.


We decided we were going to go back for some swimming on Tuesday.

Acting out how the tensile and compressive members of the stadium work together. And then the tensile members!

After we visited the Olympic park, we headed up to a big lookout tower next door. The elevator inside ascended at 7 meters per second, and went up over 150 meters. It was absurdly high, and we could see all of Munich spread out before us.

Tiny stadium

On our way to the House of Architecture, we navigated the subway system and peeked at the BMW building, which is beautiful. Apparently, we studied the BMW building in class last year, but I'm pretty sure I must've slept through that lecture because I don't remember it.


The House of Architecture is where the people in charge of all the architects in Germany work and oversee everything. Their building is very  interesting- it utilizes thermal mass and shading structures to keep even temperatures in the building without relying on the mechanical systems too much. Smart buildings like that make me so happy :)


We ended Monday at a magnificent Catholic church. The front facade was made of blue screen printed glass, the inner chamber was made of wood, and the organ loft was made of concrete. It was laid out very simply- a rectangular volume within a rectangular volume within a rectangular volume. Very simple, very beautiful. The wood was necessary because of acoustics- glass and concrete are very hard materials, and without wood to absorb sound, noises would just bounce around the space and echo a lot.

The steeple, the front door, and the space between glass and wood

Front and back

The front facade is the most magnificent piece of all. We weren't there to witness, but apparently before mass, the entire blue facade opens up to the street. The ENTIRE facade. I saw a picture and it was the coolest thing ever.

We came home and started planning our next few evenings. On Tuesday we wanted to go to the pool, on Wednesday we want to go on a beer tour of Munich, and a few girls and I want to go find a Salvador Dali exhibit. Hopefully we can get everything done! I also wanted to buy a traditional German beer dress, but they're like 140 euros and I don't want to drop that kind of money.

Tuesday rained and rained and rained. But we braved the elements and checked out oodles of student housing in Munich. Our first stop was a student housing prototype. Students and professors teamed up to figure out the minimum amount of space a student would need to live comfortably.


Each pod is 6.5 square meters (about 65 square feet)

The pods were very compact, but designed very efficiently. I could see myself living in one of them for at least a semester. They were designed for one student (as was every other student housing facility in Munich).

Inside the pod. Kinda cramped.

And then we went up in a very tall high rise and saw the alps WHAT.

We visited many more examples of student housing on Tuesday. We visited a high rise (where we got a great view of the alps), a collection of small concrete studios, and another tall complex. The student housing was all made out of athlete housing from the 1972 Olympics. It's a great example of reuse.

It's sad that it was raining, because these units were the most awesome thing I've ever seen.

The insides were small though. They're designed for one person.

The students can paint the exterior of their unit, and mural competitions are held every year.

The color scheme for the apartments is the same as the color scheme for the 1972 Olympics

We rounded out the day at the BMW maternity ward, where BMWs are born and proud parents drive away in their new car. The facility was designed to be an experience, a show, something you can look forward to. BMW thought that, if they create an experience for people buying their cars here, then they will come back. And their kids will come back. And so on and so forth. This building is a flagship for brand loyalty.

And I gotta say, I want a BMW now after visiting this building.

The building itself is really cool- the ceiling undulates and there's shiny silver curves everywhere. We talked about the structure and established that the ceiling is supported by a space frame and concrete columns hidden throughout the space.

Have you ever seen a matte blue car? It was divine.

Our evening was full of dinner at the Hoftbrauhaus (where we were able to sweet talk the matron into seating us in the big hall where the tourists all sit) and swimming at the Olympic pool. GOAL ACHIEVED.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying your travels and architecture. I can see the appeal of quilting for you...linear, design...thanks for the travelogue!