The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung, ZSW) sets new standards with its new research center in terms of energy saving and workflows. The building is located at Stuttgart Engineering Park and is designed by Henning Larsen in close collaboration with the client. Today, it has officially been inaugurated.
With ZSW, we have ensured that the new building can supply half of the thermal energy demand with its own sources. Heating, cooling, and energy are all powered by renewable sources. Thin-film photovoltaic panels that ZSW has developed themselves are placed on a large part of the façade.
A façade of research results
The modular construction of the façade allows ZSW to replace single photovoltaic elements to test new research results. The photovoltaic panels have been carefully integrated into the design of the elegant black façade.
„The façade of a building represents the face of the city. At ZSW, the external impact of the facade is reinforced by reflecting in-house research in the panels. This way, the façade is a landmark and an industry benchmark at the same time”, says Werner Frosch, managing director, and partner of Henning Larsen.
The new building is born out of a need for more space for technological facilities, a demand for more flexibility and the opportunity to expand in the future. At the same time, ZSW wished to strengthen the connection between the research laboratories, workshops, and offices of the 110 ZSW employees.
Transparency supports innovation
The new building combines many diverse facilities under one roof. A lively dialogue between the different departments positively affects efficiency and inspires cross-functional innovation. Therefore, we have provided a design that encourages transparency and space for encounters.
Each department has its own unit. The units are stacked and nested into a complex ensemble to provide as many contact points as possible to build space for encounter and encourage communication among employees from different departments. Each unit contains an atrium, which optimizes the inflow of daylight and provides a visual connection across the unit.
„The vision is now a reality. We now work in an infrastructure that supports our creativity and organization. It makes it easier to develop key technologies for energy transition and implement them in the economy”, says Frithjof Staiß, CEO of ZSW.
Henning Larsen won the design competition in 2012 and the building was realized in the Munich office from 2013 until 2017. At the inauguration, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, minister of economic affairs, labor, and housing of Baden-Wuerttemberg, attended.