Danish practice Henning Larsen Architects has won a competition to design a new 13,000m² research building for the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg (ZSW) in Stuttgart, Germany.
Situated in the Stuttgarter Engineering Park (STEP), the facility will feature several interlocking building structures and will house researchers working on sustainable technologies and energy forms.
The building will also feature 10,000m² of research laboratories, workshops, offices, meeting and conference facilities.
Henning will design the building as a grid of small units to offer a flexible workplace that serves as a framework for the ongoing research and innovation activities of the centre.
The individual spaces can be linked to create larger spaces in the future if needed and the different units are made up of modules with a large, open courtyard or atrium in the middle of every module.
Atriums in the middle will serve as natural gathering points during the workday and will bring daylight deep into the building.
Designed to meet German requirements for sustainability, the building will feature various heights that relate to the city and adjacent buildings.
Henning Larsen Architects design director Louis Becker said that the grid structure of the research centre ensures a high degree of mobility and freedom to change as well as expand the building.
"The building has a rational design and is organised in modules," Becker said.
"This creates visual contact across the atriums and green oases, which the researchers can use for work or informal meetings."
The new research building for the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research is anticipated to be completed in 2015.
Image: The building will include 10,000m² research laboratories, workshops and offices. Photo: Henning Larsen Architects.