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.