staab Architekten

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main

2006 – 2013

The balance between the Max Planck Society’s understandable commitment to independence and the urban development guidelines that require the building to be a part of the new campus—characterised by Hans Poelzigs IG Farben Building—was the key issue in designing the Institute for European Legal History. The decision was made to go with a volume with distinct edges—determined by the urban development guidelines—which is segmented into a independent sculptural form comprised of three towers in the upper stories. A base connects the multi–storey structures for the different divisions within the institute. In the bright corridors arranged around the courtyard, researchers from the project rooms, library and guest wing come into contact with each other and can exchange ideas informally. The location and orientation of the towers is determined by the functional and spatial requirements of the divisions. In this way, the open stacks act as a sound barrier between the busy Hansaallee avenue and the interior of the block. Meanwhile, the office spaces and living rooms in the guest wing face the quiet courtyard. The researchers’ project offices were oriented southward with a view of the adjacent park and the IG Farben Building.

Limited realisation competition 1st prize 2006
Team Per Köngeter, Johannes Löbbert, Justus Ettemeyer

Client Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Start of planning – completion 2007 – 2013

For performance phases 2 – 8

Total costs €19.87m

Usable floor area 4,250 sqm

Design team Hanns Ziegler, Dirk Wischnewski (project management), Marion Rehn, Per Köngeter, Jens Achtermann, Anke Hafner, Michael Zeeh, Dirk Brändlin, Alexander Böhme, Maria Josa Soler, Carina Kinzel | Construction management Dirk Richter, Tobias Steib, Ralf Grubert, Claus Thiemann, Axel Michaelis, Sabine Zoske, Marcus Ebener, Manuela Jochheim

Landscape architects Levin Monsigny, Berlin


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