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An abandoned industrial complex, situated between the Bavarian villages Mallersdorf and Pfaffenberg, was transformed into a new community centre by plans of Munich based architects Neumann & Heinsdorff.

A production hall, dating from the 1980ies, became the community centres new auditorium. To preserve the industrial character of the vast hall it was the architect’s intention to leave its asymmetrical and up to 2.5 meter tall steel framework visible. In order to enhance its sculptural quality the roof was elevated from the framework with a layer of steel beams. The framework is painted black, as are the installations for ventilation that run in it. Other installations of the auditorium, such as natural and artificial lighting, blinds and smoke outlets are integrated into fifteen, funnel like elements made from metal that are mounted below the ceiling. These metal elements, custom made by the metal worker, contain industrial made skylight, lamps and blinds.

The outer faces of these elements are painted in black to blur with the steel framework of the roof. White, horizontally tensed fabrics close the elements at the bottom and create one shining rectangle per element. The fabric works as a diffusor for the natural and artificial light. Optically the rectangles do not interfere with the framework of the steel structure but seem to float between it. They form an independent grid at the ceiling which defines the seating area in the auditorium. The integration of natural and artificial lighting into one element allows gradual combinations and modulations

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Neumann Heinsdorff

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