The site of the new laboratory for the Institute of Hydro Sciences at the Universität der Bundeswehr München in Neubiberg is defined by a wide variety of different typologies: a mixture of one-storey to four-storey tall buildings, pitched as mono-pitched roofs and containers next to high-quality buildings.
The design responds to the diverse environment with a soothing and clean-lined gesture for the new laboratory: the result of the design process is an enveloped timber construction with a clear and strong volumetric shape, subtle materials and a horizontally structured façade. Its modular grid of 4.5 m allows further extensions in the future.
The placid and clean-lined outward appearance conceals a hall construction of three-dimensionally twisted and clamped timber frame girders, that serves both as a space for experimental setups as well as a storage / distribution facility for heavy machineries.
In order to ensure optimal lighting conditions for the practical works, the building envelope is horizontally divided into two parts: while the lower third of the hall is covered by a back-ventilated larch wood cladding, the upper two thirds are enclosed by double-layered polycarbonate twin wall sheets. A dimmed light enters the building through those translucent polycarbonate sheets and covers the space in a homogenous light.
The white glaze of the wood framework and wood paneling guarantees the absence of visual irritations. Opposing the White Cube a two storey high Black Box provides rooms for laboratory evaluation as well as additional utility spaces. Even though the Black Box is connected to the northern façade on ground floor level, it generates the impression of a free-standing spatial element.
During nightfall, when the hall is illuminated, the laboratory evokes a particular charm: the dimmed light from the inside spreads into the dark and reveals its elaborate framework to the outside.
Completion: Mai 2011
Address: Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39, 85579 Neubiberg
Client: Staatliches Bauamt München I, München www.stbam1.bayern.de
Collaborator: Carolin Wittenbeck
Structural Engineering: Dr. Ing. Behringer, München www.behringer-ingenieure.de
Photography: Zooey Braun, Stuttgart www.zooey-braun.de