Discover Germany, Issue 39, June 2016

Page 64

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Interior Architecture

Giving new life to historic and modern office buildings while honouring existing structures Freetech is a Munich-based executive planning office that focuses on interior design and building redevelopment. Founded in 1999, the young and dynamic team of 23 architects and interior designers plans and develops individual and high-quality offices and medical practices. But their heart truly lies in refurbishing old buildings. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: BUERO MONACO

Freetech just recently revitalised an old building on Munich’s famous Viktualienmarkt. About 1,000 square metres of historic structure have been transformed into a modern design, while taking into account that the building is partly listed. That concerns not only the façade, which includes design elements of different historical epochs, but also the entrance hall.“The building once belonged to a steel merchant and therefore steel and concrete were also used for the build,” says Freetech’s managing director Jörg Fricke, on one of the challenges of the build. Before starting with the interior construction, Freetech had to take measures to ensure the construction was 64 | Issue 39 | June 2016

compliant with modern fire protection regulations. “It is important for us to respect not only history but also the surroundings,” emphasises Fricke. In this case, the rather famous Viktualienmarkt has been where early 19th century vendors have sold highquality food from fish to wines or local specialities. The market is also a frequently visited tourist destination. The first tenant to move in was LaSalle Investment Management, one of the world’s leading investment managers focusing on real estates. Proof not only for the quality of the build, but also that the

Main image: Reception area with a Corian-counter. Top: Corridor area in front of conference zone. Middle: Wall covering in the waiting area. Bottom: Cafeteria.

house at the Viktualienmarkt lies in a prime location. “A sophisticated interior design was important for us – unpretentious and unagitated,” says Fricke. “The materials shall speak for themselves.” Freetech for example used a modern approach to traditional herringbone parquet, creating a bridge from the past to the future. It is not only old buildings that attract Freetech’s attention. Often enough buildings barely 30 to 50 years old have become run down or no longer meet modern office and technology standards and desperately need revitalisation. Interior design is always a team effort – that is something Freetech puts great emphasis on. Not one designer’s personal vanity should dictate how an office’s interior looks like, but understatement and high quality that appeals to those working in it.