Dam Preis 2022 to San Riemo Residential Building in Munich

John Hill
28. January 2022
San Riemo's long street elevation facing west is covered in polycarbonate panels in front of narrow conservatory galleries shared by residents. (Photo: Florian Summa)

The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) has named the San Riemo residential building in Munich as winner of the DAM Preis 2022. The cooperative housing project was designed by ARGE SUMMACUMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB.

San Riemo is so named for the former Munich-Riem Airport, which closed in 1992 and has been transformed into an ecologically planned district with a convention center and buildings for living, working, and leisure. More than 500 apartments have been built there to date by building groups and cooperatives, including KOOPERATIVE GROSSSTADT, which held a competition for the 27-unit San Riemo building, garnering 62 submissions. The scheme by ARGE SUMMACUMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB (Anne Femmer and Florian Summa, Leipzig; Juliane Greb and Petter Krag, Ghent) came in second place, but for cost reasons it was selected to be built and was completed in 2020.

The six-story building is faced with corrugated panels: polycarbonate on the long west facade, where it fronts a glass facade and movable French doors; and solid white on the short entrance facade. Commercial space is located on the ground floor, with a communal "lobby" for the residents who say it resembles a covered play street, per DAM's announcement of the 2022 prize. A communal kitchen, workshop, laundry and storage comprise parts of the communal lobby. Five residential floors are upstairs, plus a roof garden with raised planters and a summer kitchen on top of the building.

The main entrance to San Riemo is located on the short south facade. (Photo: Florian Summa)

The 27 apartments are partitioned into three types, with each of the five floors offering different layouts of private and communal spaces (visit Divisare for floor plans). The three types are:

  • Basic, close to conventional apartments, with private spaces on the facades and communal spaces in the middle of the plan next to the cores;
  • Branch, where private rooms are small but communal spaces are large, the latter either along one facade or snaking between units;
  • Nucleus, an experiment form where "several apartments give space to a 'pool' whose use can be defined in new and changing ways," per DAM.

The jury of the DAM Preis 2022 seems to appreciate the varied floor plans the most, saying that "San Riemo has shown courage to embrace new forms of living and fill them with life."

One of San Riemo's 27 apartments. (Photo: Florian Summa)

The DAM Preis for Architecture in Germany started with the museum's nomination of "100 remarkable buildings or ensembles" completed between the end of 2019 and spring 2021. From those buildings, a shortlist of 22 projects was determined and then winnowed down by the jury to four finalists, listed below. The jury* visited the four finalists in September 2021 and was most impressed with the San Riemo project, naming it the best building in Germany for 2022. A few quotes from some of the jurors:

"San Riemo is refreshingly different from its neighboring buildings. The young cooperative should be proud of the courage that it took to undertake such an elaborate process. It has led to a beautiful building that promotes happiness." – Christiane Thalgott

"Change is a constant in life. Everything is possible here, whether you’re living or working, upsizing or downsizing, or in a family or a flat share. It is a courageous and exciting experiment: the reality check has begun." – Christoph von Oefele

"The San Riemo project shows how we can live together in an affordable and exciting way. A characteristic structure provides a base for different household combinations to satisfy current and future demands and desires." – Jacob van Rijs

"San Riemo won us over with its refined living options and floor plans, not to mention its fine architectural language. It’s more than just a place to live – this is where communities are built and communal living brings people together." – Kristina Egbers

"Why is the field so dreary when San Riemo is right here showing us all what’s lacking? Finally we have a building with character and urban density." – Oliver Elser

The conservatory galleries along the west facade are shared spaces that can be used for a variety of purposes. (Photo: Florian Summa)
DAM Preis 2022 Finalists:

  • Axel Springer Building, Berlin, by OMA – OFFICE FOR METROPOLITAN ARCHITECTURE
  • "Building Simply" Research Buildings, Bad Aibling, by FLORIAN NAGLER ARCHITEKTEN
  • John Cranko Ballet School, Stuttgart, by BURGER RUDACS ARCHITEKTEN
  • San Riemo Residential Building, Munich, by ARGE SUMMACUMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB

The Branch apartments at the top floor allow for larger communal spaces. (Photo: Petter Krag)
*DAM Preis 2022 Jury:

  • Christiane Thalgott, architect and urban planner (jury chair)
  • Christoph von Oefele, partner at N-V-O Nuyken von Oefele (winner of DAM Preis 2021
  • Jacob van Rijs, partner at MVRDV (winner of DAM Preis 2021)
  • Kristina Egbers, studio*k / Engineers without Borders
  • Oliver Elser, curator at DAM
  • Angelika Fitz, director at Az W Architekturzentrum Wien
  • Katharina Matzig, architecture critic and journalist
  • Dionys Ottl, partner at Hild und K Architektur
  • Peter Cachola Schmal, director at DAM
  • Uwe Bresan, architecture media manager at JUNG
  • Dijane Slavic, architecture media manager at JUNG
  • Yorck Förster, freelance curator at DAM (nomination and deputy)
  • Christina Gräwe, freelance curator at DAM, (nomination and deputy)

Laundry, storage and other utilities on the ground floor can be hidden behind sun-yellow curtains. (Photo: Petter Krag)

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