Back in 2013, Munich-based firm Hierl Architekten won a competition to transform a historic Brauhaus into a new headquarters for the German beer company, Paulaner. The popular brewer had been originally using the site as their brewery but decided to move production to the outskirts of the city, and keep only the main administration at this historic location. Beer has been brewed on the site since 1627 and was originally operated by Paulaner monks who would drink the beer during Lent season because the liquid bread offered sustenance and nutrients without violating fasting rules.
The now snow-white headquarters are a radical transformation of the former decaying site. The design for the building block's new square footage is based on the courtyard typology, consisting of an old and newer court that brings daylight into the office floor plans while offering attractive event space and an internal beer garden. A third floor has also been added with a modern sleek flat roof.
While some miss the big brick roof of the original structure, the listed ruins—restored and partially reconstructed with the original features—have been woven into the modern extension offering flexible office landscapes. The still existent substance of the original Zacherl brewery includes the exterior façades (up until the central buttress), the gate hall, and the center vaults.
Color and material choices integrate the old building with the new. Whitewashed walls and black floors integrate the whole of the interior. An 1822 staircase designed by the neoclassical architect Leo von Klenze has been given the addition of black steel and door and wall claddings are made of oak, all of which, bring a freshness to the building and help create a cool working atmosphere.
Upon picking Hierl Architekten's design, the Commercial Director at Paulaner expressed that "it's back to the roots for us while at the same time, constructing a state-of-the-art headquarters. The draft integrates the Zacherl building without denying its past as a ruin." The Mayor of Munich—a city famous for its historic architecture—echoed the sentiment stating that "this draft distinctly reflects the history of the brewery."
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