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Over 35,000 architecture fans defy the cold

January 21, 2017

Long Night of Architecture

• New visitor record
• Over 70 building and projects, 11 routes
• Themed tours and guided tours fully booked

The fourth “Long Night of Architecture”, organized as part of BAU, the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials, Systems”, met with overwhelming interest from the people of Munich, architectural tourists and visitors to BAU 2017. More than 35,000 architecture fans took part in the event. Again this time, the “Long Night of Architecture” (LNA) was an opportunity to gain unique insights into some of the most architecturally impressive buildings, urban development projects, showrooms and infrastructure projects in the Bavarian capital.

On behalf of the organizer, Messe München, its Managing Director Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer said: “The amazing response shows that Munich not only has a wonderful architectural landscape, it also shows that the local community has great interest in it. A special thank you to all those who presented the participating buildings in such an excellent way.”

70 buildings—by shuttle bus or on foot
This year the Long Night of Architecture featured over 70 buildings and projects, which is significantly more buildings than in 2015. With eleven different route suggestions, and thanks to an intersection between routes at certain junctions, architecture fans were able to put together their own individual route, or follow one of the pre-planned ones. Odeonsplatz was the central gathering place for the visitors, as it was a transfer point and also a starting point for some of the eleven routes. Shuttle buses ran on all routes, and travel on them was free of charge. En route to the buildings architecture students in the buses gave short introductions to the buildings. LNA participants could also follow walking routes through the city center—this was a very popular choice, with or without guide.

Munich from a range of perspectives
Among the 20 new buildings featured in the LNA program for the first time were the “München Hoch5” building in the “Werksviertel” at Ostbahnhof—this is also where the opening event was held. “The response far exceeded our expectations. Although we do not yet have a finished product, hundreds of people came along to hear about the concept behind designing a brand new urban district,” explained Eric Heppt of München Hoch5. Other first-timers were BMW´s truck logistics administration center, the Isartal Workshops, the Würzburger woodworking business, the digestion plant at Gut Großlappen sewage works, and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of St. Lucas at Mariannenplatz.
Another newcomer, Brainlab AG, was a big hit this year. Brainlab AG built its new headquarters only a stone´s throw away from the Messe München exhibition center, on the site of the old airport, Riem. The eye catcher of this new HQ is the old airport control tower, now a listed building. It is now surrounded by a contemporary new building made of glass. Mariana Fuchs from Brainlab AG was amazed at the number of people attending: “Our Managing Director, Stefan Vilsmaier, wanted to conduct all of the tours himself, in person. But with this number of people, we had to change our plans at short notice and offer additional tours of the building, to do justice to all visitors. People were especially interested in climbing up the control tower.”

Familiar buildings from past “Long Nights” were also again featured, among them Osram Lighthouse with Skyline Tower and TenTowers. Both gave an opportunity to gaze out over Munich by night. Susanne Bühler, responsible for marketing at Osram AG, was very pleased with the result: “This time again we were totally amazed by the response—from the very first hour, all the available capacity to look out over Munich from Skyline Tower was exhausted. Our lighting concept was also a resounding success.”

A building that didn´t offer a lofty view, but did delight with its original charm, was the bread factory of Aumüller bakery—located in an old industrial building on Kistlerhofstraße.

With the other featured buildings, too, there was something for every taste: For example pro aurum´s “Goldhaus” and the stadium at Grünwalder Straße.

In almost all the buildings a guided tour was on offer and/or a small program with highlights for visitors to enjoy and delight in. Long queues formed at many buildings, yet the architecture fans waited patiently and expectantly in icy temperatures.

For the trips between the buildings, a total of 85 shuttle buses were in operation. Inside the buses people could warm up and chat to each other about what they had seen. They also made it clear that they wanted this event to take place on a regular basis. The operators of the buildings that took part in the LNA program were also enthusiastic about the idea of continuing to create a regular link between the exhibition halls at the architecture trade fair BAU and the city. It was an excellent way, they agreed, of bringing the theme of architecture closer a broad audience.

Messe München GmbH and the team at BAU 2017 would like to thank all the cooperation partners and sponsors—without their support the Long Night of Architecture could not have been possible.

The cooperation partners of the LNA are:
• The City of Munich and, as patron, the Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter
• Bavarian Chamber of Architects (Bayerische Architektenkammer)
• Organization of German Interior Architects/Designers (Bund Deutscher Innenarchitekten)
• Highest Construction Authority in the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Transport (Oberste Baubehörde, Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern)
• Bavarian Chamber of Civil Engineers (Bayerische Ingenieurekammer-Bau)

The sponsors of the LNA are:
• pro holz
• Bauzentrum Poing

For more detailed information on the “Long Night of Architecture”, e.g. on the buildings featured on the various tours, go to: