NewsDeutscher Hochschulbaupreis 2022

Award for 'Light & Schools' School Laboratory

Today, 28 March, the House of Teaching – Light & Schools school laboratory of the University of Hamburg was awarded a commendation of Deutscher Hochschulbaupreis 2022 (German University Building Award).

We are very delighted at this award! The prize-winner and the two commendations recognise exemplary university buildings or ensembles that demonstrate a special architectural quality or a commendable approach to a historical building. They combine aesthetic and functional aspects in an outstanding way and are particularly attractive as university buildings for students and teachers.

We congratulate the winner of the Deutscher Hochschulbaupreis 2022, Birk Heilmeyer und Frenzel Architekten from Stuttgart, on their award for the Research and Innovation Center of Energy Technology (RIZ Energie) at Offenburg University.

You can find an invitation to the 3D virtual tour through the Light & Schools building here.

Minutes of the jury meeting

The building is a small pavilion of the University of Hamburg that serves as a school laboratory and is intended to introduce young people interested in science to the Department of Physics at an early age. The pavilion is located on the extensive Bahrenfeld research campus in the north-east of Hamburg, which is known beyond the region, in particular due to the DESY centre located on the same site.


The small, single-storey volume of the student laboratory is prominently positioned at the campus entrance and captivates with its significant architectural design. The volume, planned as a sandwich, sits on a slightly raised floor slab, which corresponds to the symbolic cantilevered ceiling slab. In between are the laboratory and teaching areas, which are designed as a showcase with floor-to-ceiling glazing that is visible from afar. This results in an airy building with a strong external impact, which also convincingly incorporates two existing pine trees into the design as a “genius loci”. The new building is accessed via an open entrance courtyard that encloses one of the two large pine trees and simultaneously serves as an informal waiting and seating area leading up to the building.


Even though the building was planned as a reinforced concrete structure in order to meet the high anti-vibration requirements of the installed measurement technology, the pavilion impresses with its sensitive treatment of the existing trees and compensates for its already small footprint with an extensive green roof. The high proportion of glazing was rated as particularly sustainable; it allows for a bright and comfortable working environment and, in combination with the all-round bench as a seating and lounge zone, enables young people to naturally appropriate the building.


Overall, the architects have found a comprehensible way, both architecturally and in terms of urban planning, to assert themselves with a small pavilion amidst many large-scale research institutes and, at the same time, to create a high-quality architectural environment for young people that familiarises students with the broad field of university research and teaching at an early age.

Awards for Light & Schools

  • Deutscher Hochschulbaupreis 2022 | Commendation
  • best architects 22
  • Design Educates Awards 2022 | Honorable Mention
  • DAM Prize for Architecture 2022 | Nomination

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