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Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III

  • Würzburg, Germany
  • 2008 – 2013
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
  • Under Construction
  • 5800m2
  • Laboratories, Offices

The Technikum III laboratory aspires to integrate various fragments on the site: the laboratory spaces, the existing institute buildings and the urban context.This is achieved by “defibration” – the de-laminating of the building volume and façade – which generates a building that is both simple and complex in its reaction to functional demands.

The new Technikum III building follows a strategy of triple integration: Spaces of very different size – ranging from standard office spaces to the 15m high Fibre Technikum – are combined into a single building, which in turn, together with the existing buildings, forms the new ISC institute. On an urban scale it provides a new main entrance that connects the institute with its urban environment.

This triple integration is realized through a strategy of “defibration”: At first a compact 4 storey volume follows the direction of Luitpoldstrasse coming from the river Main. In response to the cityscape it turns away from the street front and aligns itself with the existing parallel buildings. This movement in plan results in a differentiation in section: While the north façade is continuously stepping back towards the top, the south façade is cantilevering over the forecourt.

In this way the building creates differentiated spatial relations with its surroundings: The street space widens creating a generous forecourt, while the recessed ground floor façade opens a vista to the campus between the existing buildings while the cantilevering upper floors create a canopy above the main entrance.

The stepping back of the north façade allows for generous natural lighting of the laboratories and opens the courtyard towards the vineyards in the North of Würzburg.

The dynamics created by the changes in cross section are emphasized by the modulation of the façade: The buildings eastern part presents itself as a simple volume with closed facades. Towards the West it becomes gradually more differentiated by strip windows shaded by large cantilevering louvers. The extensive use of glass reflects the ISC’s main field of work as a material research institute for silicates.


Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Jan Hübener

Project Team

Nadeen Mirza, Anna von Roeder, Stefan Rinnebach, Berthold Lauer, Frederic Beaupere, Niels Kespohl, Rassul Wassa