Type Research Center
Location Darmstadt| Germany
Size 21.950 sqm
Design HENN architects
Role Building & Facade Design
Text by HENN The building is set back facing Frankfurter Straße, thus generating the space for a public square – Emanuel Merck Platz. The orthogonal shape of the architectural volume is derived from the context of the neighbouring buildings, simultaneously acting as a contrast to the animation of the building’s inner workings. The interior is characterised by the unfolding of a continuously flowing spatial structure. Bridge-like connections diagonally span the space between the oval cores, linking the individual workspaces with each other. Steps, ramps and floor areas spiral upwards. The routes between one work group and another, from one level to the next, are accomplished almost imperceptibly and effortlessly. The inter-crossing bridges, which densify the centre point of the building and diminish the spatial height of 6 metres to 3 metres, appear to float. The strain of the loads is absorbed by supports along the facade and a mere four interior columns. Due to their highly polished stainless steel coverings, the columns have a practically dematerialized presence.
Every level has two work areas, positioned diagonally vis-à-vis one another. Each workspace is designed to provide for a project group consisting of external and internal staff, cooperating together on innovations either on a temporary or a project basis. Concentration and meeting rooms are arranged along the facade and on the mezzanines. The ground floor contains a café, a lounge and an auditorium; the first upper storey a library and open workstations; the top floor accommodates a workshop.
Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure, ZWP Ingenieure, Topotek 1, Müller-BBM, Emmer Pfenninger, Lumen³