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The Green Island is a Great Place To Be

If you want to move house in Munich, you need strong nerves, plenty of patience and a degree of luck. That the entire Gasteig was able to move to Sendling while its home base is being renovated is close to a miracle. In the summer of 2021, we visited utility company Stadtwerke München, the owners of the side of the Gasteig HP8 and thus our landlords.

Bernhard Hanslmaier (Stadtwerke München) looking at the Gasteig HP8 construction site.
Bernhard Hanslmaier from Stadtwerke München watches the construction of the Gasteig HP8 from the company’s own roof terrace. Copyright: Andrea Plücke / Gasteig München

This is where the future becomes reality: inside the SWM training centre

In the past, SWM occupied the whole of the Hans-Preißinger-Straße site. As the company’s needs have changed over the years, many of the buildings have been rented out to external businesses, including joiners, vehicle workshops and – most recently – the Gasteig. The SWM training centre is at the southern end of the HP8 site and that is where we meet deputy training manager Bernhard Hanslmaier for a tour.

 

From October, Hall E will be buzzing with new life thanks to the cinema, the bars and restaurants and the modern open library. What stories can you tell us about its history and what it was used for?
In the past, SWM used the listed industrial hall as a huge storage area for machinery and components. We often sent our trainees there with detailed order forms and empty trolleys. They’d head across from the training centre to the venerable brick building and then come back to the workshops with full loads of sheet metal or screws. Many of the buildings on the site are now rented out to external businesses.

 

What is this building, the SWM training centre, used for?
We take 140 trainees every year of training and we currently have around 400 trainees studying theory and practice in 14 different professions, from specialist vehicle operators, electrical fitters, electricians for operating technology, systems and industrial mechanics through to IT and commerce. We offer a very wide range of professions because SWM needs a lot of young and skilled professionals for the different areas it covers, including energy, swimming pools, mobility and telecommunications. In 2024, the training centre is moving to Schwabing, into the modernised SWM head office.

 

The facade of the SWM training center.
The training centre of Stadtwerke München at Hans-Preißinger-Strasse in Sendling. Copyright: Andrea Plücke/Gasteig
Trainee works at a tool bench in a workshop.
Apprentices get hands-on experience in various workshops. Copyright: Andrea Plücke/Gasteig Munich

How interested are you in the Gasteig moving in?
We can sit in our rooftop garden and watch progress on the construction site from a distance. We often discuss amongst ourselves what will happen there in the future and whether everything will be dismantled again at some point. Personally, I think that would be a real shame. The arrival of all these cultural facilities – the library, the cinema, the concerts – will really enhance the site. When the Gasteig moves out again, everything that’s been built could still be used for other purposes.

 

What are your hopes for this time with the Gasteig HP8 as your neighbour?
Obviously, we’re really looking forward to the Gasteig joining us here on site. We also interact with the other neighbouring businesses; we all support each other and we’re always happy to help each other with quick jobs. Our SWM colleagues at the head office are always joking that we’re out here on our remote green island. And it really is a great place to be; everything is very individual and informal.

A trainee with welding equipment in a workshop.
Trainee looking at computer screens in the Future Lab at SWM's training center.
Boxing ring with punching bag and boxing gloves on a shelf.

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