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Office with Silver Curtain by Buero Wagner

Photos: Florian Holzherr, Kim Fohmann and Ursula Coyote

The Munich-based architectural designer Buero Wagner has ingeniously incorporated industrial materials into the extension of his office, located in the Au district near the Isar River. The expansion involved unveiling the basement of an existing office within a turn-of-the-century building. This two-story renovated studio, spanning 140 square meters, features an abundance of natural light introduced by extended windows.

Buero Wagner's design showcases a creative utilization of industrial materials, including aluminum foil curtains and furniture crafted from galvanized steel gratings. The decision to employ light-reflective elements, such as galvanized steel grating and aluminum foil, commonly found in industrial settings, imparts a distinctive aesthetic to the interior.


"These conventional, banal materials take on a new value through their processing and use in a context that is alien to them, and lend the interior an abstract, temporary character that deliberately leaves open the questions of use, appropriation, and the 
completion of the construction measure."


The flooring, stairs, and furniture incorporate the steel grating, while silver foil curtains discreetly conceal functional areas like the kitchen, storage shelves, and passages to the toilet and storage rooms. Privacy curtains made of bubble wrap not only provide seclusion but also permit the passage of light.

In preserving the existing building's character, the architects exposed the concrete floor slab in the basement and renewed the oak parquet on the ground floor. The majority of the furniture consists of welded steel gratings, and shelves, as well as lighting fixtures, are fashioned from galvanized cable ducts. These traditional materials acquire a renewed significance when repurposed in an unconventional context, lending the interior an abstract and ephemeral character that intentionally raises questions about use, ownership, and the completion of the construction. Inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project was finalized with an apartment unit designed to facilitate both living and working in a single space.


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