Highlight Towers / Munich, Germany/ 2001‑2005
Size: 807,300 sq ft / 17,000 sq m
Height: 33 floors; 413 ft / 126 m
Status: Completed 2005
Collaborators: Werner Sobek
Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award; Light + Building Award
At the turn of the millennium, an architecture competition in Munich aimed to create office space to anchor a new mixed-use district known as Parkstadt Schwabing. The winning design by Jahn was selected for its combination of functionality and symbolism, serving as a representation of Munich’s dedication to sustainability and technological innovation.
The Highlight Towers consist of two slender buildings with distinct sloping rooflines that taper towards a group of lower-height structures. This design allowed the towers, which were among the tallest in Munich at the time of their completion, to blend in with the surrounding neighborhood. Further emphasizing the notion of connectivity in our approach to design, the two structures are linked by modular pedestrian bridges that can be repositioned on any floor as the building’s use evolves over time.
The towers are reinforced independently by a diagonal steel-bracing system, working in tandem with composite columns and concrete slabs. Their facades feature fixed triple-glazed windows and operable double-glazed windows shaded by perforated steel panels, which enhance energy efficiency and tenant comfort. With adjacency to the Autobahn, the windows are also designed to provide acoustical buffering from the noise below. Inside, the heating and cooling system is integrated into the building’s concrete structure, providing seamless conditioning.