SMAA Wins Competition for Conversion of the Bunker in the 'Luisenhöfe' in Aachen

  Copyright: © SMAA Studio for Architecture

Three graduates of the Faculty of Architecture Tim Scheuer, Felix Martin and Jan Philipp Alfes win the competition for the conversion of the bunker in the Luisenhöfe quarter in Aachen with their office SMAA. As part of the neighborhood development, Luisenhöfe GmbH had organized the competition in consultation with the city administration and politicians. The competition was conducted anonymously, with a total of 6 offices (some international) taking part. The winning design was said to treat the protected monument with care, open up to the neighborhood and allow flexible use.

The plan is to add a storey that follows the structure and materiality of the bunker and recedes behind the cornice. Historic elements, such as chimneys and ventilation shafts, are respectfully preserved and integrated. An inner courtyard provides plenty of daylight and is a connecting element of the diverse uses. The jury welcomed the proposed neighborhood-related uses, which were also planned in a moderate manner. On the first floor, for example, there is space for a café-restaurant, while upstairs there is a neighborhood library and communal areas that can be used for events. A co-working space for neighborhood residents, a parcel station and creative spaces are also possible. In this way, a neighborhood meeting place can be created that radiates a sense of security and is very intelligently combined with the requirements of the office users on the upper floors.