Munich hall: Lead architects withdraw

The swamp that is the future of music in Munich continues to fester.

The biggest of three firms of architects shortlisted for renovating the disastrous Gasteig concert hall has made a public exit, saying that in the present set of criteria there is no role whatsoever for an architect.

Read here. And weep.

 

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  • “…in the present set of criteria there is no role whatsoever for an architect.”
    Where did you get this from, Norman? It’s not in the article. What it says is that there is an unresolved intellectual property dispute relating to the work of the original architects of the hall.

      • You have incorrectly translated the relevant passage in Auer Weber’s statement, which is: “Bei den jetzigen Vergabekriterien spielt der architektonische Gestaltungswille keine Rolle mehr”.

        This sentence does not mean “in the present set of criteria there is no role whatsoever for an architect”.

        The sentence means “architectural creative drive plays no role in the current procurement criteria”. That is, their complaint is that the procurement authority’s approach to assessing the competing bids does not give weight to design considerations.

        A different version of the statement appears on Auer Weber’s website. It does not contain that exact line but similarly objects to the failure to take account of design considerations: “in selecting the bidder, what is decisive is not the architectural quality of the respective designs, but solely the price, the staffing costs, the qualifications of the project team as well as draft plans for adhering to the cost limit and fulfilling contractual obligations”.

    • … er, I wouldn’t blame Norman for the confusion!

      DER NEUE GASTEIG

      Architects in contention:
      • Auer Weber (Stuttgart and Munich)
      • Henn (Munich)
      • Wulf Architekten (Stuttgart)

      Süddeutsche Zeitung – 23. Januar 2019

      “[The] process [is] problematic due to copyright of the ‘architectural community’ [Raue, Rollenhagen & Lindemann] that originally realized the Gasteig [in 1985]. After all, especially after Eike Rollenhagen … spoke out for the contribution of Henn … , the process entered a credibility crisis. Nevertheless Henn was finally commissioned. Whereupon the other two firms lodged a complaint – and received a decision in their favor. … So there are still three ‘first’ prizes and no decision. Also no in-depth designs.”

      “A recent decision in favor of Henn could again cause complaints about lack of transparency and possibly manipulative evaluation criteria.”

      “The criteria that led to the award [to Henn] were partly ‘incomprehensible,’ and there were ‘discrepancies’ in the evaluation matrix. A member of the former jury says, ‘the builders wanted to push through Henn. It [was] obvious.’”

      Süddeutsche Zeitung – 2. Mai 2019

      “After the competition, it was … unclear why the jury did not choose a clear winner, but three equal winners.”

      “One of the three architectural firms in the race for the refurbishment of the Gasteig is withdrawing from the competition.”

      “Gasteig GmbH says: ‘We note with regret that [Auer Weber] … has withdrawn from the procurement procedure for the general refurbishment of the Gasteig.’ But: ‘We cannot understand the reasons given by [them] for this.’”
      “On the other hand, [Wulf Architekten] wants to continue to refurbish the Gasteig. ‘We have submitted our offer,’ says Tobias Wulf. He does not want to comment on the withdrawal of his competitor … . But one thing Wulf wants to stick to fundamentally … : ‘In the end, it has to be about the architecture and its quality.’ The only question is: is this end still to be foreseen?”

      Süddeutsche Zeitung – 3. Mai 2019

      “The builders are making the Gasteig renovation increasingly laughable.”

      “The withdrawal from the competition of Auer Weber is understandable. That any architect should have to solve a copyright problem instead of the client is a scandal.”

      “Project … consists of much ambition and goodwill on the part of Gasteig GmbH, expectations (and fears) of the public, inconceivably negligent political paradoxes, and enormous construction-culture resources.”

      “The initiator of the process hopes that the architects [will] be so ‘outstanding’ as to ‘make their designs agree with the existing copyright.’ This is the norm in construction when it comes to a conversion that is of copyright concern. In this case, however, such optimism is criminally naive. It is clear that [legal moves are under way]. It remains unclear how [these will go], and what they mean for the dates, and the costs. The whole thing has become incalculable. Hence the Auer Weber exit.”

      “Architects now have no time for designing. They have [instead] appointments with their lawyers.”

  • Gasteig is not a good hall, but it is one of many unsatisfactory halls built in the second half of the twentieth century. In its better seats it is not any worse than concert hall of the Sydney Opera House, Barbican or Royal Festival Hall. It is a shame in a city with almost unparalleled ensembles there is no perfect hall. Herkullesaal is good, but too small. Even the opera house , for me at least, is acoustically no match to say Semper Opera in Dresden.

    • The Nationaltheater in Munich is wonderful! And the Gasteig is way better than the Barbican.

      • I’ve never been there, but recordings coming out of the Gasteig don’t sound all that bad. Not the best, but not the worst either.

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