Henning Larsen Architects just won the competition for a new research building for the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Stuttgart. The Center is one of Germany’s leading research institutions and conducts research on renewable energy. Carefully integrated into the surrounding context, the building features various heights that relate to the city and adjacent buildings. The building will create a new, distinctive entrance to Stuttgarter Engineering Park and provide an insight into the ongoing research. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The new Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research situated in Stuttgarter Engineering Park (STEP) will house researchers conducting research on sustainable technologies and energy forms. The flexible building design allows for it to be adapted to new, changed research requirements in the future.The building comprises offices, laboratories, meeting and conference facilities. It is designed as a grid of small units to meet the requirement for a highly flexible workplace that serves as a dynamic framework for the ongoing research and innovation activities.
The individual spaces can easily be connected to create larger spaces as needed. The different units are made up of modules – with a large, open courtyard or atrium in the middle of every module. This structure accentuates the spatial qualities and facilitates the users’ orientation in the building. The atriums bring daylight far into the building and function as natural gathering points during the workday.
The grid structure ensures a high degree of mobility and freedom to change and expand the building. The organisation in modules allows for small expansions over time, as little as 300 m2 at a time if required. In addition, the rational building design creates visual contact across the atriums and green oases, which the researchers can use for work or informal meetings.
The scale of the building adapts to the local context, which accommodates both families and large research institutions. The various heights of the modules thus also represent the diversity of research activities and departments at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research.
The Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research meets strict, German requirements for sustainability. Through the design process, the energy consumption of the building has continually been simulated through studies of volume, material selection, ceiling height, light and shadow, sound, wind and opportunity for indoor and outdoor spaces. By selecting and fully exploiting the most efficient solutions, the energy consumption of the center has been minimized. Particularly, an effective use of daylight has contributed to reducing the energy consumption.
Architects: Henning Larsen Architects
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Team: Henning Larsen Architects, Transsolar, Knippers Helbig and ZWP Ingenieur AG
Team at Henning Larsen Architects: Louis Becker (Partner), Werner Frosch (Project Director), Kostas Poulopoulos (Lead Design Architect), Ósbjørn Jacobsen, Andreas Schulte, Maine Godderidge, Silke Jörgenshaus, Blanca Ulzurrun, Emil Skibsted Tranæs, Laura Schmitt and Julia Menz
Sustainability Concept: Signe Kongebro, Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Lise Mansfeldt Faurbjerg and Kalle Park
Illustrations: Christian Schjøll and Wesam Asali
Client: ZSW Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung
Type of Assignment: 1st prize in invited, international competition
Gross Floor Area: 13,000 m2