Technology Focuses: GLASS | STEEL
The Experimental Factory Magdeburg is a research institution for a whole range of fields, including the methods and processes of production and the technology of coatings. The building consists of a compact combination of three volumes. Along the street there is a five-storey structure 15m deep for office and laboratory use. The middle building, used for large-scale experiments, is a single-storey hall 8.5 m high that is completely separated from the main structure. The western side contains a testing-space for electro-magnetic fields. These heterogeneous elements of the program are wrapped into a single complex by a large blanket in orange, pink and silver stripes. The extruded form of the building takes account of the factory’s position in between a busy four-lane road and the campus on one hand, and between an existing and a future institute on the other. The north and south facades are treated as cut edges made of translucent glass, while the metal blanket forms a protective skin towards the road. While the space of the building is generated by the continuation of this street façade and its folding into a three-dimensional formation, the blanket expresses its own two-dimensionality in all of its details. For the visitor approaching the university from the east, highly visible above the clutter or road signs and traffic lights, the building constitutes a beacon heralding the world of research, innovation and learning.
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