12 November 2021, by Ingeborg Adler
Photo: hammeskrause architekten
The architect Fiona Krauß, vice chair of AIV, called the integration of 2 pine trees into the Light & Schools’ exterior landscape a masterpiece.
On 16 January 2018, the foundation stone was ceremoniously laid in Bahrenfeld; among others, the architect Markus Hammes (left) from hammeskrause architekten, Prof. Dr. Erika Garutti, and the University’s president Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Lenzen took part.
For the first time, Universität Hamburg was also a new building’s building contractor.
Universität Hamburg’s Haus der Lehre—Light & Schools has been recognized as the 2020 building of the year by the Architekten- und Ingenieurverein Hamburg (AIV). The prize has been awarded on 11 November.
“The building is a wonderful place for building bridges between university research and schools,” said Prof. Dr. Klaus Sengstock, who initiated the building. Ten years ago, the head of the Institute of Laser Physics decided to create an extraordinary learning site where young people could gain insight into physics. The goal was to inspire enthusiasm for and an understanding of the natural sciences outside the classroom and without grades—ideally, the inspiration lasts when young people start careers.
In the last few years, this has led to physics-related projects for young people of practically all ages: Light & Schools—a school lab for elementary and secondary school children—and an advanced internship in the Department of Physics. Elementary and secondary school students can learn from one another here because the transparent labs allow groups to get a glimpse of what other groups are working on. Thanks to the modern equipment, they can engage in experimental work and conduct current research such as that being done at The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI): Cluster of Excellence Advance Imaging of Matter, which also funds the school lab.
At the same time, the extensive glass facade of the one-story building on Luruper Chaussee piques the interest of passersby and gives them a glimpse of science. The architect Fiona Krauß, vice chair of the AIV, called the reconstruction of the building and the integration of 2 pine trees as central features of the exterior a masterpiece. “As if they were on a stage, they give form with their lives and their growth to light and its energy and this form changes in space and through time, as do all living things. At the same time, this thoughtful architectural gesture, realized by everyone involved with the utmost care and appreciation, shows respect for nature,” said Krauß in her laudatory speech. This notable feature and the open construction not only makes the building an eye-catcher; it also marks a further step on the path toward Science City Bahrenfeld.
For the first time, Universität Hamburg was also the building contractor. The architectural firm hammeskrause was responsible for the building design. In addition to the prize from the AIV, which recognizes the outstanding cooperation between the building contractor, the architects, and the engineers, the building and architecture firm received the “best architects award” in the building design category. The German Sustainable Building Council awarded silver and the building also gained significant attention at the architecture and engineering days in Hamburg.
“I would like once again and on behalf of the entire Light & Schools team to express my thanks to Universität Hamburg for financing this wonderful building for Science City and all schoolchildren in the upcoming years. I thank our property management for their fabulous commitment, the department, the dean, and the head of administration for their support and the entire architectural team at hammeskrause for their ingenious design!” said Prof. Sengstock.