Historical map from 1856

Existing house - ca. 1950

Structure plan Johanniskirchen

Sketch Siteplan

Existing romantic wild garden

South-West View

Ground floor plan

Residential building with two apartments, Munich-Johanniskirchen

Contrary to what its name suggests, the Zahnbrechersiedlung in Munich's Johanneskirchen district is an idyllic, small, largely self-built housing estate dating back to the 1930s. The initiative and commitment of the local resident and member of the Bavarian State parliament, Franz Zahnbrecher, secured building consent for a small imperial residential estate despite the very high groundwater level.

Our architectural brief was to devise two largely separate structures designed as residential buildings for two brothers and their families instead of the existing settler's house. The planning goal was to construct a sustainable building with as little technology and expense as possible whilst avoiding ecological missteps such as composite thermal insulation systems and plastic windows. The existing development plan provides for a roadside development and a connection to the neighbor's house, so that two semi-detached houses with garages can be built on each of the two plots.

The high groundwater problem is solved by a special foundation engineering measure involving a socalled 'white tube' in such a way that a basement can be built largely lowered into the ground. The roadside building follows in parallel with the road and in line with the eaves as set out in the development plan and connects to the neighbor's building, which is also to be rebuilt. The building at the rear of the property ist positioned transversely to the first along the neighboring property. This allows for opening up the property and thus an optimal use of the garden for both families. In the basement, the two buildings are interconnected, which in turn allows for a common building services installation. Both buildings feature a so-called Lukarne, also called 'Zwerchhaus', a building element which - in contrast to the dormer window - is not set back from the outer wall and which, with its generous windows, offers a panoramic view over the surroundings.

The building will be erected in single-shell brick, i.e., without additional thermal insulation. It is planned to install timber windows and a roof in titanium zinc sheeting. Heating is supplied in an energy-saving manner by a heat pump.

The existing garden, which boasts a diverse collection of shady trees and shrubs, is preserverd in its almost enchanted forest-like original state so as to preserve the overall character. Natural meadows and flowering areas, lawns to linger an play, flow borderless to the spacious terraces enveloping the building.

Working group:
Dirk Nielsen, Christoph Randl, Architects