A new tower for the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences

February 26, 2024

The new building will provide space for three departments and replace tower 6, which is in need of refurbishment. Preparatory work is currently underway to set up the construction site. The actual construction phase should start in November 2024 and be completed by July 2027. The Max Planck Society will cover the costs of around 34 million euros for the new building.

Currently, more construction vehicles and trucks than usual are using the road Am Faßberg. A traffic-calmed zone with a 30 km/h speed limit has been set up at the junction to the Max Planck Campus so that construction vehicles can enter and exit safely. The reason for these changes: the preparatory work for constructing another tower at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Multidisciplinary Sciences.

Investigations had shown that, for fire safety reasons, laboratories in tower 6 may only be operated until 2030. As refurbishment is not cost-effective compared to a new building, space will be created in the new tower 7. The rooms should be flexibly dividable so that the space for labs and offices can be adjusted as needed. Whether tower 6 will be demolished or can be used otherwise is open.

The new tower 7 will be built into the slope between towers 3 and 4 and will not exceed the height of the other buildings. “The construction will comply with the latest legislation on energy saving, energy efficiency, and sustainability and the technical infrastructure is characterized by a high degree of efficiency,” reports Reiner Schymura, head of Construction Management and Strategic Development Planning at the MPI. “With its banded fronts, the tower fits in well with the existing buildings. Its location makes the institute appear more compact and the terraced architecture of the campus remains.” The new building was planned by the architectural office NOVA from Munich.

The construction road and the construction site, including the construction fence, are currently being built behind the buildings of the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization on the long side of the adjacent field. In addition, a turning area for the construction vehicles and storage areas is being created.

“We will completely dismantle and renaturalize all measures once the construction work is complete,” assures Managing Director Holger Stark. A path has been set up for cyclists and pedestrians along the construction fence so that they can continue to use the field and forest paths from Nikolausberg to the institute.

The excavation work that has already begun should be completed by September, creating the necessary plateau for the building. In order to secure the site and the buildings in their hillside location, two bored pile walls will also be erected and lateral tie-backs installed.

Like the existing towers 1 to 6, the building will have three floors above the ground story. The ground floor will house the storage and technical areas. Floors 1 to 3 are planned for three departments; the ventilation technology will be installed on the top floor. The usable area will be 2,759 square meters. A new chemicals warehouse will be set up in a small side building to the left. A special building for vibration-sensitive laboratories with highly sensitive scientific equipment – placing special demands on vibration protection and electromagnetic compatibility – will be built on the right. “We currently have far too few of such special areas at the institute, but they are absolutely essential for our highly sensitive measurement methods,” emphasizes Stark.

Director Claus Ropers’ Department of Ultrafast Dynamics, which is to date located at the University of Göttingen, will move into the special building and the first floor. Director Helmut Grubmüller’s Department of Theoretical and Computational Biophysics, currently located in tower 6, will occupy the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor will initially remain free to make room for a new appointment.

“In terms of noise and traffic, the new building will demand a lot from our employees and the citizens of Nikolausberg over the next few years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for bearing these additional inconveniences,” says Stark. (cr)

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