DAM Prize 2023: Starnberg district office awarded – culture

The extension of the district office in Starnberg, Upper Bavaria, has been awarded as the best building in Germany. The architects Auer Weber, who designed it, won the competition for the renowned DAM Prize 2023 in Frankfurt on Friday.

The original building from 1982 was “a mixture of a Bavarian boathouse and a traditional Japanese one architecture“, is how Peter Cachola Schmal, director of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM), described the building on the lake. The jury found the harmony between the existing building and the addition particularly convincing: “Seldom do an old building and a new building meet so harmoniously.” That’s not the fault The last reason is that the same architects were at work 35 years apart – the original building was also designed by Fritz Auer and Carlo Weber, who were awarded the German Architecture Prize for it in 1989. “Today it is only with a keen eye to see where inventory ceases and expansion begins.”

“Don’t tear it down, don’t rebuild it, just continue building” is a contemporary but not everyday approach, said DAM director Cachola Schmal. “It would be nice if many builders would go this route.”

Outstanding buildings in Germany have been honored with the DAM Prize every year since 2007. In 2023, 23 buildings made it onto the longlist, and three buildings by German architects abroad were added out of competition. A jury of experts chaired by Martin Haas initially selected five finalists and, following an on-site inspection of the candidates, now chose the winner.

In addition to the Starnberg district office, the new urban railway tunnel in Karlsruhe, the federal office of the German Alpine Club in Munich, the Munich Volkstheater by the recently deceased architect Arno Lederer and the Prädikow barn near Berlin all made it into the final round. From January 28 to April 30, an exhibition will present the 26 award winners in the DAM’s alternative quarters at Ostbahnhof.

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