© 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