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OPTICUM for Leibniz-Uni-Hannover

Building type
laboratories and research buildings
building project
new building
material façade
architect award
Competition 1st Prize
With the new Opticum research building for Leibniz UniversityHannover, HENN is creating an identity-giving site and a prominent location for top-class research work, including within the framework of the PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence. Within this interdisciplinary and international scientific institution, more than 100 researchers and students from the fields of physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, electronics, computer science and mathematics are working together to investigate and develop forward-looking digital optical systems.
The building complex is divided into four modules with pentagonal floor plans. The different sizes of the buildings and rounded edges create a liberal and organic design language. The facade design is based on the alternation of storey-high glazing and opaque solar-oriented louvres. These are proportionally distributed on each side of the pentagons according to direction to allow for an optimal mixture of light incidence and solar protection. The changing alignment of the louvres results in different sequencing of the facades depending on the viewing angle.
The first module houses the core of the Opticum, while the second is an extension of the research building with seminar rooms and a lecture hall. Modules 3 and 4 contain a technology centre for spin-offs with an underground car park.
The central building of the Opticum features a large entrance area with an atrium, which, as the central point of contact, unites all the common areas: the central porter's area with the security control centre, a café, conference rooms, exhibition areas, a library and childcare facilities. The highly sensitive optical laboratories are located in the basement and are therefore largely shielded for security and confidentiality reasons.
The Opticum is characterised by a balance between high technical functionality, design aesthetics and a strong reference to the natural common exterior space.