Max Planck Institute
Extension for library and offices
Hamburg

  • Client: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Generalverwaltung – Bauabteilung München
  • Architect: Working group Hartmann Schlutz & Patrick Ostrop
  • Reinforced concrete framed structure, white tank construction, connections to existing buildings
  • GFA: c. 3,500 m²
    Time: 2005 - 2006
    Building costs: c. 8 mill. EUR
  • Our scope: structural engineering, planning of the building pit

Not only virtual storage space is in demand.

Despite the internet and computer workplaces, the volume of printed literature continues to grow. At least, this is the case for overseas law libraries, which sometimes have to work together with poverty-stricken countries lacking technical infrastructure. Thus, the library of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law was in desperate need of extra space for many years. But relief has now been provided in the shape of a new building with generous space for reserve stacks and offices as well as a large conference room.

The compact, four-storey structure with basement directly abuts the existing institute building and makes full use of the exact site limits set out in the land use plan. The building pit for the two-storey basement was secured with an anchored soldier pile wall immediately adjacent to the existing building. The basement is formed as a water-impermeable concrete shell (“White Tank”), securely connected to the bitumen-sealed shell (“Black Tank”) of the existing basement.

The building itself features a slender skeleton of reinforced concrete, and has a glazed entrance area and reading room on the ground floor as well as office and seminar areas on the upper storeys.