MNB 03 - 22 - 2010

Sustaining the old, in with the new Munich is a very interesting place today because of the tragic events in the middle of the last century. During the World War II around 90% of the city was destroyed, leaving very few buildings for the future generations. I believe that this might be at the core of how Munich is constructed today and how they preserve history. New construction buildings are everywhere and they are generally not frowned upon by the public, while they can be very much not contextual to the surroundings concerning the style. New is welcomed, but what else is welcomed here is the old. Because there is so little of the true old remaining, it is very important for Munich to sustain it, even if only ruins were left after the war. One of the best examples that we have seen in Munich of blending the two ideas is this one church that was very badly damaged during the war, but was recently restored and converted into a concert venue. The top image shows the whole reconstructed space from the second floor balcony. They tried to be as non invasive as possible through the material selection. The totally new parts are either transparent or of neutral colors. Thus, that the old structure remains as the dominant element in this space. The lighting is very unobtrusive as well. They use the original windows also they added some light surfaces either on the floor or on the ceiling that highlight the rough surface of the bricks. The bottom image shows the way materials come together. I especially liked the combination of new and old bricks. It is very easy to understand what is original and what is added on as the part of the reconstruction project. The old rough bricks that bare lots of history behind them create striking contrast with the new fresh bricks. This church is a great example of new experimental architecture in Munich that respects and highlights historical elements in the environment.

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