Research needs space for the exchange of ideas, networking and experiments. Yet for focused work, a calm setting and clear structures are indispensable. The design for the new research building at Erfurt University combines both. Atriums divide the four- to six-storied buildings into three parts. While the two outer parts absorb the specialised departments, the middle part forms a central hub with access and communication points. These receive mainly natural light through the façades and courtyards. Moreover, the generously glazed windows create visual connections to the departments, and the university campus, too.

A wide variety of flexible working environments are made possible by the seamless transition from secluded ‘thinking cells’ to unobstructed zones fostering movement and encounters, through to open presentation rooms on the ground floor. Besides, the premises offer a lounge, a large kitchen and a roof garden for communal use on the fourth floor. A firm support structure combined with a light wall system ensures long-term flexibility: should the needs change, the floor plan can be adapted with relatively little effort.

Being located opposite the library, the new research building embraces the square in between, thus increasing the latter’s significance. The building’s compact form ensures high efficiency, permitting further developments on the property.
The ground floor is conceived as public zone for communal use. Visitors are received by a light-filled lobby that leads to the central access point, as well as to research and seminar areas.
The core forms a transition area with multiple uses. Besides vertical access and sanitary facilities, there are also places here for encounters and the exchange of ideas. These are added to by niches for meeting others, and loggias in the departments.
Besides a kitchen and lounge, the loft floor offers a large roof garden and thus plenty of space for communal activities.
Section A-A
The façade made of both smooth and coarsely washed exposed concrete elements is one metre in depth; it thus constructionally provides sufficient protection from the sun, together with the glazing.