© Jan Bitter

The ADAC headquarters provides Germany’s largest automobile association with a flagship building that responds to their aspiration for a strong presence in the landscape of the city, while at the same time sensitively repairing the local urban fabric. The design creates an efficient and sustainable structure with a clear, flexible layout containing around two thousand workplaces and a range of areas accessible to the public.

The headquarters’ five-storey base responds to the scale and grain of the surroundings. Its dynamic five-pointed ‘starfish’ form creates a generous courtyard as well as outdoor spaces of specific character. These include the entrance driveway and an area of open landscaping that frames a neighbouring listed house. The eighteen-storey tower situated to the north serves as a landmark that punctuates the linear space of the railway tracks. The various routes towards the building converge at a large glazed foyer in the courtyard, which gives access to a ‘ring road’ on the first floor. Elevating the internal circulation in this way allows the ground floor to be given over to communal uses that include a conference centre and a staff restaurant.

The building benefits from a sophisticated energy concept that combines geothermal energy exchange with integrated thermo-active slabs and uses a double façade to provide natural ventilation throughout the building. The specific use of colour on the façade gives the building an unmistakeable identity.

© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter


  • Office building with conference centre, exhibition space, printing plant, restaurant


  • ADAC Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobilclub e.V., München


  • gross floor area: 125.100 m²
  • competition: 2004, 1st prize
  • 2004 — 2012


  • Best Tall Building Europe 2013 Award of Excellence

project team

Frank Anacker

Adrian Betz

Sibylle Bornefeld

Philipp Eckhoff

Angelika Fehn Krestas

Ramiro Forné

Felix Habich

Stephanie Heese

Claus Hendryk Nannen

Tarek Ibrahim

Rasmus Jörgensen

Jochen Klippert

Ken Koch

Christian Konietzke

Michaela Kunze

Inge Kurte

Ilja Leda

Nils Lindhorst

Andrea Ludwig

Vanessa Mader

Patrick Mc Hugh

Daniela McCarthy

Frank Menzel

Tom Mival

Konstantinos Papavasiliou

Markus Pfeifer

Tanja Reiche-Hoppe

Peter Rieder

Thomas Sachs

Sonja Sandberger

Nicolas Schrabeck

Tian Tian

Christian Töchterle-Knuth

Tobias Vogel

Anja Vogl

Heiko Weissbach

Andree Weißert

Florian Öttl