Behnisch Architekten completes the new research laboratory for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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Stuttgart, Germany – The Energy Lab 2.0 at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is an intelligent platform, set up to explore the interplay of components in the energy systems of the future and in particular to speed up the energy transition in Germany through the integration of renewable energy in the production of electricity. Electrical, thermal and chemical energy flows, as well as new information and communication technologies are combined in a cluster of facilities. Project partners are the Helmholtz Centres, the National Aeronautics and Space Research Centre of the Federal Republic of Germany (DLR) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ).

The new construction of building 668 on a site formerly used for experiments with solar energy in the north of the Campus Nord provides an attractive, high-quality and flexible location for this research. The detached building has the appearance of a homogenous unit with a translucent building envelope made of polycarbonate that allows the wooden construction on the interior to shimmer through and accommodates an ample, column-free test hall as well as a two-storey office wing.

The main approach is from the west via a glass vestibule in the central zone of access, which leads between the offices and the hall, alongside a lightweight glass wall, into the building, allowing generous views between these building sections. The material of the hall incorporates references to the neighbouring buildings with their industrial character.