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New building for Biomedical Research, Lübeck University

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Part of the international research on Covid-19 takes place in Lübeck – in the recently finished building for Biomedical Research (BMF). Instead of working in an ivory tower the researchers and their activities are open to observation behind a giant display window. Through the request of transparency by the users a constant change of perspective is ensured – a prerequisite for success in research. The internationally renowned scientist, Rolf Hilgenfeld was even prompted by the new building to continue his work in Lübeck.

Eight institutes and five technology platforms researching inflammation processes network in the BMF. The new building seamlessly extends – also architecturally – the CBBM (Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism), thus enabling exchanges with a closely related discipline. The requested transparency and openness was delivered through maximum glazing in the façade and the opening up of the ground floor all way up to the roof.

All texts from DBZ 6/2021 (abridged and adapted)
» We take the time to understand the users' environment and ways of working before we start the design process. «
Markus Hammes, Architect

The fact that a new culture of science needs new architectural spaces has long been ignored in architectural discourse. Instead of providing the common, merely functional structure of highly installed laboratories and low-installed offices, making highly efficient use of the space, the BMF offers an environment which allows ideas to flow inside researchers’ minds and between disciplines. It is a translation into high-quality spaces of both the narrowly defined spatial requirements on the part of the client and the interdisciplinary approaches of the researchers occupying the building. Highly installed areas are economically stacked atop each other and complemented by supporting working spaces, forming modular lab clusters. The researchers are connected visually across the atriums, while the atriums and circulation spaces turn into generous communication zones for informal encounters.

  • » We use the bands to symbolically tie together the interdisciplinary research groups. «

    Markus Hammes

    The BMF’s façade takes up the design of CBBM. Two glazed bands with opening windows alternate with one opaque band which architecturally integrates the necessary building services.

  • On the north façade the banded design is interrupted for the overdimensional-display window idea. Instead of the office spaces elsewhere it is the introspective lab clusters that lie on the exterior façade here, opening up to daylight and natural ventilation. Vice versa, they allow direct views from the square in front of the building into the research landscape.

  • The element of glass stands for transparency, views and positioning as well as daylight use and the researchers‘ wellbeing. A big difference from the usual introvertedness of the daily work characterized by shielded, access-restricted laboratories and high safety requirements. Glimpses of otherwise closed-off worlds are made possible and, ideally, future scientists inspired towards their vocation.

  • The large, open sculpture of stairs provides orientation and connects the open communication zones, which can be appropriated according to need, regardless of being part of a resarch group. What was defined as mere circulation space has turned into a multifunctional space reserve through daily use. This openness of the system was, at first, new territory for the researchers. But the benefits for the community materialized soon, resulting in newly formed collaborative research clusters.

  • » Views between the different areas help to experience the variety of the research and scientific lab work also in the core of the building. «

    Markus Hammes

New building for Biomedical Research, Lübeck University

  • Marie-Curie-Straße
  • 23562 Lübeck

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