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A new geometric dimension: The polygonal HIMACS structure in Munich's HVB-Tower

A new geometric dimension: The polygonal HIMACS structure in Munich's HVB-Tower

Square, triangle, diamond – these terms just don’t do justice to the pearl white HIMACS interior design found in the entrance hall of the HVB-Tower of HypoVereinsbank. Acute angles, sharp or soft corners and tilted surfaces of various inclines are all combined to form a polygonal structure, resembling a crystal. It serves as a parapet, stretching across three floors and creating a spatial boundary to the atrium. Using this crystal shape, Munich-based HENN architects made the DNA of the building visible for everyone, following the brief by the owner. At the same time, they created a new geometrical dimension. Its impressive effect could not have been achieved without the solid surface material HIMACS which can be bonded seamlessly, giving the crystalline body extending across rooms a flawless, smooth appearance.

The designers' request for "seamlessness" led to the conscious decision to use the solid surface material. At the same time, it posed a challenge for the partners 5D Engineering and Arnold AG who were tasked with implementation planning. In order to meet the requirements, Arnold AG developed a two-part substructure that absorbs the movement of the cladding: the primary substructure transfers all loads to the building, while a secondary one, flexibly fixed to the primary substructure, follows the HIMACS surface on the inside. This allows for slight movements caused by thermal expansion of the solid surface material to be absorbed. Any necessary cladding joints were placed in optical corners, making them nearly invisible.

850 square metres – 500 individual components – 36 tonnes

Today, this installation, challenging even for solid surface material experts Rosskopf+Partner, is no longer visible in the seemingly weightless (despite an actual weight of 36 tonnes) crystal. Close to 850 square metres of HIMACS, supplied as 500 different individual components, were assembled, screwed together, bonded and smoothed on site with millimetre precision – all across three floors.

Despite its impressive size and shape, the smooth, non-porous HIMACS surface, its superior look and warm feel create a welcoming friendly atmosphere in the soothingly white entrance hall. The solid surface material is ideal for use in heavy traffic areas such as offices and work spaces: it is extremely hygienic, low maintenance and robust. Minor signs of wear and tear can be polished away easily. It complies with fire safety regulations and is flame retardant according to DIN 4102-1 B1.

The HVB-Tower is equipped with an attractive "smart working" concept that meets the bank's request for flexible and interactive work spaces appropriate to the digital age. HENN converted this listed high-rise building into a "green building" offering savings in heating energy, electricity and water. Even though the monocoque façade was completely removed and replaced by a double-skin structure, parts of the original façade were able to be preserved. Around 6,000 of the original aluminium panels at the front of the building were cleaned and reinstalled in the new façade. This resulted in a visually similar façade, enabling the architects to combine the old and the new into a contemporary design.

Location Munich, Germany
Architecture & Design HENN GmbH, Munich
Material used HIMACS, Alpine White
Photo Credit HGEschPhotography
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