AachenMünchener Headquarters

Public Private Partnerspace -
How do you make a client and building owner
give up his private property
and make it available to the city?

Typology office Location Aachen Construction Volume GFA 29.050 m² GV 101.600 m³ Client Aachen Münchener Versicherung represented by Generali Deutschland Immobilien Construction 2007-2010 Competition 1st prize 2005 Awards BDA – Auszeichnung guter Bauten 2010‘, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Award 2011 – shortlist


#Company representation #consideration of the existing building structure #urban integration

Company headquarters in the inner city usually form blind spots, unattractive to the public and desolate after office hours. Therefore, the design is not understood as an architectural but as an urban task with the aim of maximizing public space on the building lot. With a number of plazas, a direct footpath from the main train station and the inner city and the integration of external uses, the area becomes more attractive to the public. The demand for maximum public use and communication dictates the internal organization of the building.

Video Jens Kirchner

“The building has changed the ways in Aachen.”
Susanne von Agris – strategic planning/project office

Photo Jens Kirchner

The extension building occupies two blocks of the 19th century city fabric. It gives a new interpretation of the typical perimeter development with its semi-public and leafy courtyards. The urban sequence of expansions and squares is extended by a perron and a plaza evolving out of it.

The project closes a gap in the “Via Culturalis” in the pedestrian footpath connecting the axis between the main train station and the inner city, with a series of public squares, so-called “urban steppingstones.”

Floorplan 2nd floor - Boulevard
Photo Jens Kirchner
Photo Jens Kirchner

The public green areas are made available not only to the employees of the insurance company, but also to the passersby and local residents.

Photo Jens Kirchner

As a new address of the AachenMünchener insurance company, the foyer lies consequently at the intersection of the boulevard with the “Via Culturalis.” At the new “AachenMünchener Platz” on Borngasse, the boulevard is coupled with the grandiloquent curved perron which provides a representative opening to the city space.

Photo Jens Kirchner

Model of the Boulevard

Photo Jens Kirchner

Existing and new buildings are connected by the “boulevard” which consists of a transparent level hosting seminar areas, a restaurant, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, and other communication areas. The boulevard floats above the various garden spaces inside the building block, and connects the office spaces, eventually opening up at the main entrance and the pocketpark, offering a representative face to the street.

Instead of passageways organized according to floors and connecting passages bet ween the individual buildings, the boulevard is brought together on one level and hence, integrating the existing buildings quite naturally.

Photo Jens Kirchner
Photo Jens Kirchner
Foto Gianni Plescia

“I don’t think there are many nicer offices or nicer views over Aachen: Aachen city centre, Aachen Cathedral, City Hall, UNESCO World Heritage Site – wonderful! This is my favourite place to make phone calls: headset on and enjoy the view.”
Jürgen Paulini – Assistance Deutsche Vermögensberatung/ Alliance Deutsche Vermögensberatung

Photo Jens Kirchner
model study

The model was used to assess the configuration of the new complex in the existing urban situation.

Photo Jörg Hempel