The attraction of urban areas, continuous structural change in industry, increased expectations on building services and, not least, our own demand of more and more living space per capita are putting pressure on every existing building, putting it up for disposal. But the common practice of demolition and new construction cannot be the solution, if only in view of the cultural and ecological loss.
About 100 years after its construction, Munich’s wholesale market no longer meets today’s needs either. As the city council has approved its relocation recently, the area and its historic buildings are presented with major changes. Right at the threshold between the residential area and the market site, the former “sorting hall“ is located. Initially built in 1926 for the manual sorting out of damaged fruit, the triangular structure now mainly houses storage and cooling areas in addition to a few smaller shops. However, with reference to economic risks, the far greater potential of the city’s own facility has remained unused until now.
This thesis now anticipates the sorting hall’s soon-to-be vacant status and shows, both architecturally and economically, how the identity-defining building can be preserved and put to a contemporary use. The vacated sections of the building will be upgraded to provide space for gastronomy and a daycare center. A new access to the courtyard will make it possible to cross the complex and at the same time create the necessary second escape route. The surrounding canopy serves as structural protection against sun and weather and unifies the courtyard in its overall spatial perception. On the footprint of the existing hexagonal low-rise construction, a new building marks the center of the complex and adds a high point to its squat profile. Here, additional office space is created, the letting of which makes the conversion of the complex financially possible in the first place. In contrast to a mere renovation of the existing building, at initially higher construction costs, this strategy promises a significantly faster amortization of the investment and thus fulfills the financing requirements of the City of Munich.