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GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel

2012 – 2019

The Centre for Ocean Research’s building expansion is situated on the Schwentine Estuary in the Kiel Fjord. With a Corten steel base that picks up the architectural outline of the existing building, the expansion integrates itself into its environment, which is characterised by its brick buildings. The base accommodates the storage of expedition equipment and laboratories, and is divided by patios. Overhead, five cubes for the different areas of research emerge with different sets of proportions. These cubes give the building a liveliness with their prismatic, reflective glass and aluminum facades. The interplay between the hermetic base, which corresponds with its environment, and the glass cubes, which catch the maritime atmosphere, comprises the building’s architectural concept. A special position is held by the cube that contains publicly accessible areas—including a library and conference room—and which is likewise covered in Corten steel. Informal common areas and conference rooms, which offer a view of the water and the institute’s own research vessels, are provided along the corridors in order to promote daily interaction among the researchers.

Limited realisation competition 1st prize 2012
Team Petra Wäldle, Sarah Ruoss, Fabian Reinsch, Ivan Kaleov, Anna Immenkemper

Client Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel

Start of planning – completion 2014 – 2019

For performance phases 2 – 8

Total costs €83.0m

Usable floor area 14,500 sqm

Design team John Barnbrook (project management), Sarah Papen, Frank Trautmann, Ove Jacobsen, Thomas Eysholdt, Tobias Steib, Manuela Jochheim
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