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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III in Würzburg, Germany by Zaha Hadid Architects

December 6th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Zaha Hadid Architects
More projects by Zaha Hadid

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 facade – which generates a building that is both simple and complex in its reaction to functional demands.

Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Project: Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III
  • Location: Würzburg, Germany
  • Project Date: 2008 – 2013
  • Type: Laboratories, Offices
  • Area: 5,800m2
  • Design: Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Architect: Jan Hübener
  • Design Team: Nadeen Mirza, Anna von Roeder, Stefan Rinnebach, Berthold Lauer, Frederic Beaupere, Niels Kespohl, Rassul Wassa

Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III

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.

Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III

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.

Fraunhofer ISC Technikum III

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.

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Categories: Laboratory and Office, Zaha Hadid

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