The new build of the “Theoretikum” in Jena directly adjoins the listed institute building of “Collegium Jenense”, the nucleus and soul of the university, and completes the historic ensemble in the west. Designed as a perimeter block development around an inner courtyard, the building takes reference from the existing urban characteristics and integrates into the scale and context of the quarter regarding its building height and compact floor plan organisation.
The façade structure comprising of a socle area from varnished steel plate and horizontal window bands almost stretching across the entire length of the building wing follows the design of the old baroque building, whilst at the same time interpreting it in a modern way. The orange-red paintwork, which was selected in accordance with monument preservation aspects, additionally refers to the historic colour canon. In contrast to the existing building, the new build completely opens up towards the inner courtyard with its all-glass post-and-beam façades.
Whilst the western section of the U-shaped new build accommodates the administration department and scientists’ offices, the high-tech laboratories are located in the northern and southern building wing. The main entrance, which is glazed over the entire building height on the street and on the courtyard side, is centrally located in between the wings. It offers views from and into the building and right through to the green courtyard and the adjoining old building. At this point, the poplar still standing in front of the new entrance combines with the inner courtyard to form a continuous urban green area.
The reduction of architectural elements emphasises not just the objectivity of the building task and the treatment of an economic construction with regard to building costs, but also the clear commitment to a contemporary appearance in this concise urban location.