»More of a Big City Feel« – the Gasteig Community at HP8

»More of a Big City Feel« – the Gasteig Community at HP8 Film makers Sevgi and Chris Hirschhäuser GMG/Benedikt Feiten

Neighbours are the people who are most likely to surprise us, with inspiring stories and undreamed-of talents hidden away behind every front door. We want to get to know our future neighbours and we don’t want to wait until the Gasteig moves to HP8. During this visit, we’re calling into creative studios, a vehicle workshop and a joinery – tantalised by aromas of wood, paint and coffee.

See you at the cinema soon? Film makers Sevgi and Chris Hirschhäuser are planning a Gasteig film

Bild zeigt die Hirschhäusers in ihrer Küche
Living an working all in the same space: Sevgi and Chris Hirschhäuser also use their studio as a kitchen, a living room an as a backdrop for film sets

»Herrlich!« Having a sign with the word »Wonderful!« over your front door is bound to put your guests in a good mood and is a great welcome to the Hirschhäuser’s spacious film studio loft. There might not be a red carpet, but they do have a well-stocked bar, a pizza vending machine and plenty of quiet corners if you want to chat or concentrate.

Chris, you’ve both been working here for the last ten years, so what does this place mean to you?

We spend around 15 hours here every day; planning film projects, making fashion and music videos, or holding casting sessions. We use the other room to store all our equipment and as somewhere to do the admin. Our home is much smaller, so we wouldn’t be able to get everything done there. That’s why we were genuinely horrified when we were told initially that we had to move out, so that the Gasteig could create its interim premises. By working in solidarity with the other tenants on the site, we were able to influence the plans so that we could stay and share it with the Gasteig, which is what’s happening now. We’re really happy that things went our way!

There’s a rumour that you’re already working on a Gasteig film?

Yes, we’re actually already in discussions about a film covering the opening of Gasteig HP8 in October. We want to show how the Gasteig and the existing community here are growing into a cohesive whole. We’ll do that by shadowing the creative people and the neighbours here on site and looking over their shoulders. There are lots of interesting contrasts and the aim of our film will be to »weld« the different trades and crafts together with the cultural aspect.

What do you hope will be the result of the cultural centre moving here?

The Gasteig being here is definitely going to be wonderful. Of course, it would be great for us to be able to premiere some of our films here in Munich, and we’d also really like to hold some open-air film shows – some of the walls will be ideal for that. We’ll be happy if the move brings a bit more of a big city feel out here to the sticks!

Getting worked up doesn’t achieve anything! Wolfgang Ronner, who tinkers with cars and likes violin music

Ronner’s vehicle workshop turns out to be an artistic mix of bodywork and curiosities. Cars, hoses and paint cans are interspersed with colourful pictures and a guitar on the walls, with a boat suspended overhead. The Gasteig construction work means that he is currently short on working space, as his workshop is sandwiched between the Isarphilharmonie at the back and the building for the Cologne University of Music that is going up in front. But Ronner, born and bred in Austria, doesn’t intend to get worked up about it.

Bild zeigt Wolfgang Ronner
Cars and art: Wolfgang Ronner likes to take on fresh challenges

Where does this laid-back attitude come from?

Well, what’s the point of getting upset! That won’t get me anywhere, you simply have to see the positive in every situation. I’ve got my customers and, as I see it, this business with the Gasteig will all work out, won’t it? And I definitely want to have a look inside the concert hall.

So, how do you like your culture?

Concerts! Especially classical music, especially violin music. I’ve known the concert master of the Munich Philharmonic for more than 25 years now, he’s a good mate of mine.

You were one of the first tenants here on the Stadtwerke site. Tell us about it.

I’ve been here for around 22 years. Before that, me and a few of the other tenants were based at a business park on Landsberger Straße. That was a real washout; we had to move out after just one year. When we came here, everything was still empty so we had our pick of the site.

Interviews and text by Maria Zimmerer
Photos: Benedikt Feiten

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