The Alte Akademie, a former Jesuit college in central Munich, was planned and built by the Dutch court architect Friedrich Sustris in the 16th century.

The expansive, four-storey complex with multiple courtyards was gradually extended under William V, Duke of Bavaria. Work began on Michaelskirche church in 1583 and soon after a Jesuit monastery was added to the site. Known locally as Wilhelminum in reference to William V, the building was used by the Jesuits for ecclesiastical purposes for around 200 years until 1773, when Pope Clement XIV imposed a ban on the order that remained in place for 40 years.

The current name dates back to 1783, when the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities took up residence. After suffering bomb damage in the Second World War, the historic, heritage-listed site was authentically restored and integrated into Munich’s old town.

In agreement with the Federal Capital of Munich an international single-stage architecture competition was organised. The final decision of the prize jury was presented at a press conference on April 25, 2016. Morger Partner Architects, the architecture firm from Basel, has been awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the traditional property with over 400 years of history. Christ & Gantenbein Architects, also from Basel, were awarded second place, and third place went to the London office of Caruso St. John Architects.

SIGNA is very delighted about the outcome, as it is once again demonstrated in the design competition for the Alte Akademie that it is very clear how well close cooperation between administration, public policy, heritage conservation and a private investor can lead to an excellent result for everyone involved. The almost unanimous voting results in the architectural competition prove how clearly the proposal from Morger Partner Architects was able to convince the entire jury.

The Alte Akademie is going to be extended. A Mix of living, retail, offices and gastronomy will be established.