In the center of the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling lies Marienplatz, a historic plaza flanked by public, retail and hotel buildings. It is here that the two main streets of the town intersect and where the existing Town Hall from the 1970s has stood. In recent years, the town of Bad Aibling decided to construct a new Town Hall as a means by which to further invigorate the center. This was successfully realized through the concept of the new multi-functional venue that houses a variety of programs – including citizens’ services, administrative offices, meeting rooms, as well as a public library and a registry for weddings - all under one roof.
The old town hall was demolished down to the cellar level. Keeping the cellar and the building foundations intact was part of the client’s brief for the project, and therefore a key constraint in planning. The planning team chose a lightweight construction for this reason that consisted of a concrete skeletal structure with wood-clad walls.
The architectural concept of the town hall emphasizes the creation of identity and encourages communication. It is an open house, involved in the everyday life of the town’s citizens and defining the urban life centered around Marienplatz. Three prominent window openings on different sides provide generous views of the city center and the attractive surrounding landscape.
The light granite of the plaza, which has also been redesigned by Behnisch Architekten, continues through to the building interior as a public pathway, running through the town hall which is lined with stores and a café. Their presence here has transformed this public space into an environment that is lively and engaging both during and after business hours. The entrance of the town hall from Marienplatz leads into an atrium that hovers above the stories. From here, visitors can circumnavigate the building and experience it as a truly public space - a flowing, communicative public thoroughfare for casual and planned encounters.
Light enters the interior of the building through the atrium. The design and materials used for the northern atrium wall in particular direct and reflect the light entering through the strips of skylight windows located at the top of the building. The wall elements, which have a sculptural appearance, are continued in the form of parapets, benches and counters, giving the atrium space a special character.
The energy concept includes the implementation of LED-lighting throughout. The cooling operates through the use of water from a nearby creek. It is used for the component activation of the ceiling, the mechanical ventilation and the convection cooling of the server rooms.