WERK 0. Urban Canopy Rooms

Sarah Reithmeier
Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture

With this project the goal is to create spaces inside the tree canopy, where is possible to experience different atmospheres generated by the presence of leaves. This is pursuit by taking into account the quality of light falling through the various densities of leaf layers, the continuum between the inside and the outside of the canopy, the frames and lookouts created by the leaves allowing different views, the other properties of the leaves, and trees in general, like smell, sound and texture, the feeling of safety and, at the same time, the possibility of prospect, when in the canopy, surrounded by leaves, and finally, the exposure to wind rain and sun when in the outer or higher layers of the crown of the tree.

Our Project is located at the Werksviertel in Munich, right next to Ostbahnhof (the eastern station), where a whole new city centre is being built. Here, with a good connection to the centre of the city, it has the perfect combination of buildings with public functions (e.g. Gym, Bars, concert hall, etc.), office and residential buildings. The character of the district is strong due to the presence of many old factories, now renovated and converted into new programs.
The only aspect underestimated in this area, in our opinion, are green spaces. It is advisable, for improving the microclimate of the area, to increase their number and total area.
To respect the hard-covered plaza in the middle of the Werksviertel, suitable for many different uses and events, we hazarded to take up the area reserved for another low office building, that is not built yet.
We started with a list of the different atmospheric spaces we wanted to create: one look out with a soft layered frame of leaves, one room where you can experience the height of the trees, one space in which you are inside of the tree canopies, surrounded by leaves, one where you are driven to look up to the sky, and one that enhance the connection between the different spaces.
On the ground level we designed a small park with a water element and, underneath our atmospheric rooms, shaded green spaces provide cooling for the area.
The different rooms are connected by a walkway, held up by steel ropes, anchored to five steel poles. This walkway also allows to enter from the ground from the core of the park, with a gentle ramp. Additional entrances, also suitable for wheelchairs, take advantage of the vertical connection and the wide terraces of the Werk 12, the public building next to our project. The atmospheric spaces are accessible onto platforms. They are inosculated to the tree trunks, and the different rooms are shaped through injuring, pruning, and bending technics.

Plan 3rd floor.
Overview of the different atmospheres: look out, look up, look out, look down, look out, hall
Technical drawings
Technical drawing of the plan (on the right), of the walkway (both on the left)
Throughout the complex
Pictures of the model (1.100) (on the top). Section (on the bottom)
Room offer and time development of one room
The 12 different kind of rooms we offer (on top). Design in time of one room, the look up.
Model picture