Selfstorage: Simone Hirmer

Simone Hirmer

Technische Universtität München


Selfstorage is a phenomenon of our time, a phenomenon of densing cities, less and less room for the individual and the collectiveness of subjects human seems to need. This called forth economical containers, personal storage units that aim to provide room for all those subjects that seem to be so utterly important for us. But architectural quality is what they lack.

The site at the Schlachthofviertel in Munich proves to be an interesting base for an architectural discourse with this more and more important addition to modern cities and their cityscape. The district itself shows a certain patina, which makes the special grace of the surroundings. One may call it rundown, but in its core it simply is a very old, not polished part of Munich that takes a special momentum out of this.

The design itself tries to bring economics and architectural quality in unison. It is based on a mobile selfstorage concept that seems especially sensible in a big city context, where people would not necessarily have access to a car, and works with container units that would be brought home to the customer, so they could, after being filled, be driven back to the site, to be recalled at any time. Storing itself would be taken care of by a robotic unit in the middle of the structure, similar to how they are used in high-bay storages, which can move in all three dimensional axes and with the help of tracks be solely in charge of operations, supported by only one employee in his office, if need be. A light wooden construction offers the perfect base grid for storing different kinds of units which, through the way they are ordered and retrieved, create a dynamic facade. The mobile concept allows to abandon an additional kind of facade, since every of the three possibly rentable units (2,1x2,1x2,1m; 3,1x2,1x2,1m; 6,1x2,1x2,1m) already is made weatherproof for transport. Protected through from the double-beam wooden construction resulting projecting roofs is created an economical volume, which seals the district with its slim and high construction against the railroad and at the same time is a striking viewpoint all over the place in whose patina it will integrate itself over time by the process of aging of the untreated larch wood.