Case studies

History and innovation: GEZE sliding wall systems in the Café Luitpold

The 130-year-old Munich institution has reconnected with the tradition of the great coffee houses with an extensive renovation. GEZE supported the combination of contemporary design and historic atmosphere in the Café Luitpold with innovative door solutions and sliding wall systems.

Historic coffee house with a modern atmosphere

Automatic door in the entrance to the Café Luitpold. Photo: Robert Sprang for GEZE GmbH

An automatic curved sliding door with Slimdrive SC-FR drive leads into the main café.

For around 130 years, the Café Luitpold in Munich’s exclusive Brienner Strasse has been synonymous with fine coffee and a cosmopolitan way of life. The café was opened in 1888, in the style of the magnificent Viennese coffee house palaces. It takes its name from the then Prince Regent, Luitpold, who was known for his love of art and culture. The Café Luitpold was a meeting point for artists and free spirits, socialites and local dignitaries, especially in Munich’s golden era around 1900 - Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky were said to have founded their ‘Blue Rider’ artists' group here. Today, following its modernisation, the Café Luitpold attracts a colourful mixture of businesspeople, regulars, Munich trendsetters and students.

The division of space is a major feature of the café

The division of space into three distinct areas define the style and atmosphere of the Café Luitpold.

  • The main café, with its strikingly simple design, combines a bakery and a bar with contemporary U-shaped furniture. From here, there are entrances to the vestibule café and the palm tree garden.
  • The vestibule café is situated at the site of the café's historic main entrance, and is characterised by a pair of columns and a lavish profiled ceiling.
  • The palm tree garden is the extension of the vestibule café and is flanked by stucco columns at the entrance of the vestibule café. There is also an entrance to the main café.

Quiet and elegant: Slimdrive SL automatic doors

Sliding wall system in the vestibule café of the Café Luitpold. Photo: Robert Sprang for GEZE GmbH

Open view of the palm tree garden through an automatic curved sliding door

The main café can be reached via an accessible automatic curved sliding door that projects into the room. The swing door located in front of it opens with the lightest of touches, thanks to servo technology, and sits perfectly with the historic façade. A spacious porch leads from the main café to the entrance of the vestibule café, which is located in the former main entrance of the Café Luitpold. Pairs of columns and a profiled ceiling profile enhance the room’s magnificence.

Between the stucco columns, the leaves of an automatic sliding door in continuous glass open in complete silence, providing access to the historic vestibule. The same discreet automatic doors can be found in the passage to the high palm tree garden, which can also be reached from the main café via an automatic curved sliding door. The mystery behind the elegant, extremely quiet automatic doors is the GEZE Slimdrive SL drive, with a motor measuring just 70 mm high, which functions both discreetly and efficiently when the café is in operation.

See and be seen in a complex room structure

Wandering through the café, it’s the large number of entrances, exits and openings, and the wide variety of door solutions and design elements that stand out. The greatest challenge in this spacious and architectonic ensemble was to separate the busy main café, the quieter vestibule café and the palm tree garden into different areas, while also connecting them into one stylistic whole, and - for the sake of visitors to the café - to meet the requirement to 'see and be seen'.

Sliding wall systems create stylish transparency

Sliding wall system in the vestibule café of the Café Luitpold. Photo: Robert Sprang for GEZE GmbH

A transparent sliding wall system connects the main café with the vestibule café.

GEZE responded to the special spatial and design features of the Café Luitpold with manual sliding wall systems (MSW), which were implemented through the café as integrated all-glass systems (IGG). The glazed sliding wall systems can be easily slid together and parked to save space if necessary.

The profiles and sliding fitting system of the GEZE IGG are invisibly integrated between the panes – which enables the continuous-look glass surfaces to be integrated discreetly into the column niches of the vestibule, separates and connects the vestibule café with the main café, and provides the desired sound insulation.

Secured escape and rescue routes with GEZE door technology

Despite all the elegance, it’s important to remember that design is not everything. In the complex three-way spatial structure, , where up to 200 guests and all the staff might find themselves at any one time, safety takes top priority. The light, elegant design of the GEZE door systems also defines the appearance of the doors in the escape and rescue routes: all the highly compact safety components are integrated discreetly into the door drives, and guarantee that the different areas of the café can be evacuated quickly and safely in the event of danger.

GEZE products in the Café Luitpold

  • Slimdrive SC-FR drive
  • GEZE Slimdrive SL drive
  • Manual sliding wall systems (MSW)
  • Integrated all-glass systems (IGG)