The new laboratory for the Institute of Hydro Sciences in Neubiberg, Munich, responds to its diverse environment with a clear and well-proportioned volumetric shape, a soothing horizontally structured façade and subtle materials. The placid and clean-lined outward appearance conceals a hall construction of three-dimensionally twisted and clamped timber frame girders, constructed on a modular grid of 4.5m, which allows for further extensions. The laboratory serves both as a space for experimental setups as well as a storage and distribution facility for heavy machineries. In order to ensure optimal lighting conditions for the practical works, the building envelope is horizontally divided into two parts: while the lower third of the hall is covered by a back-ventilated larch wood cladding, the upper two thirds are enclosed by double-layered polycarbonate twin wall sheets. A dimmed light enters the building through those translucent polycarbonate sheets and covers the space in a homogenous light. The white glaze of the wood framework and wood paneling guarantees the absence of visual irritations. Opposing the White Cube a two storey high Black Box provides rooms for laboratory evaluation as well as additional utility spaces. Even though the Black Box is connected to the northern façade on ground floor level, it generates the impression of a free-standing spatial element.
During nightfall, when the hall is illuminated, the laboratory evokes a particular charm: the dimmed light from the inside spreads into the dark and reveals its elaborate framework to the outside.
18.0 m x 27.5 m x 7.70 m
18.0 m span width