• © Martin Mai
  • © Martin Mai
  • © Martin Mai


An empty office building in Munich was transformed into an arrival center for refugee minors. The use of pictograms and different colors for different rooms is intended to help residents find their way around the building.


Type of residents
Asylum seekers

Number of residents

Modular units
1 building

Building method
Conversion / Renovation

Building (Detail)
Conversion of an existing office building


Living space per person (m²/person)

Modal M, Munich

Commissioned by
State Capital of Munich

Construction firm
Jaeger Ausbau, Heinemann Elektro, Otto Hermann HLSK

In 2015, 150,000 refugees arrived in Munich, and around 5,000 of these were unaccompanied minors. A vacant office building near Munich’s central station offered the ideal conditions for the establishment of an arrival center for minors, the Young Refugee Center (YRC). For instance, the building features two entrances and two gates. Here, the youths will be fed, registered, and medically examined before they are brought to the appropriate facilities. The YRC will be operated by the City of Munich in collaboration with private sponsors. The office Modal M is planning the conversion. The main focus was to install a new fire alarm and water fire-extinguisher system, new bathrooms, as well as an orientation system in the seven-story building. To help residents find their way, the corridor sections on each floor are painted in different colors, and symbols that are understandable for all cultures designate the different rooms. The interior courtyard features benches, table tennis, and an herbal and berry garden for recreation.