DZNE is the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases. The Centre brings together teams of scientists working on groundbreaking treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The building combines research with administration functions, managing projects related to this site and to the broader DZNE network across Germany.
The two centerpieces of this building are stunning atriums which flood the building with natural daylight through its VELUX skylights while offering an inspirational and unique architectural design. In this way, the building in itself becomes a point of reference, highlighting the groundbreaking research that goes on here. Indeed, when Stuttgart-based Wulf Architekten won the tender for this project, it was clear there was to be no compromise on design.
According to Steffen Vogt, Parter of Wulf Architekten, Light is one of the main tools of an architect. It’s one of the things that makes the difference between an idea and a piece of architecture. Designing with daylight to bring spaces to life.
The first of the two atriums is to be found at the entrance to the Centre. You immediately notice the abundance of daylight, and looking up, you see the source of that daylight – rows of minimalist, low-profile VELUX skylights supported by unique, custom-designed beams.
The second atrium is perhaps more impressive still. The main laboratory building is built in the form of an oval and has an atrium running its entire length. At the top of the atrium, there is an oval-shaped glass roof – a true signature feature that calls to mind the hull of a ship. Creating this was to be a significant architectural challenge, but together with VELUX Modular Skylights, the architects were able to bring the design to life. The skylights are actually mounted above the oval structure, to give these stunning results.
When creating a glass roof that will be an architectural focal point like this one, the glass structure itself must be beautiful. Low profile frames and 100% hidden mechanicals for ventilation/smoke venting units ensure a stunning visual display which is in keeping with the rest of the design.
This high-performing building is a new landmark on its campus. While the facilities meet and exceed performance expectations, perhaps the greatest achievement is the happiness and pride experienced by employees at the facility. They particularly note the enjoyable communal spaces and the positive contribution played by lots of daylight and fresh air in bringing energy and inspiration to their working lives.