renovation laboratory and experiments building
stuttgart university

completion: 1964-69
professor friedrich wagner

renovation: 2013-2018

completed in 1969, by friedrich wagner a disciple of mies van der rohe, the landmarked research facility was in dire need of modernization. building works could only be done in phases, since it is still in use.

changes in technology, technical complexity of use, updating to new building regulations, and checking for hazardous materials were parts of the brief. simultaneously at each stage of intervention, changes needed to correspond to the whole, which included taking into account the original design.

a formidable aspect of the work was to keep the original in the forefront and still meet current building standards, correct previous haphazard efforts to update existing conditions, and anticipate future changes. the materials testing institute is housed in a research, laboratory and workshop building. the materials examined, range from electron microscopic scale parts to the currently largest object tested; a half scale booster for the new ariane rocket.

devices for the material examinations are also manufactured within the building. depending on the materials to be examined, which can be large and coarse, able to absorb enormous forces or sensitive and delicate atomic level examinations, the range of technical equipment roughly correspond to these needs. there is metal workshop, climate chambers simulating extreme heat or cold, rooms to test longevity of materials, to name a few of the testing chambers needed for long-term investigations into material behaviour. physical and chemical laboratories and communal rooms make up the rest of the needed requirements, thus none of requirements of the 320 rooms are the same.

due to restructuring of individual rooms in plastic technologies institute and materials testing institute through out the renovation, communal rooms are expanded, relocated and revitalized. rooms with toxic building materials are carefully dismantled, fire protection measures are upgraded, and in areas where conversions take place, services are updated and modernized.

throughout, research work continues in the building, creating a two-fold challenge, necessity to keep their work confidential requiring strict access authorization throughout the complete construction cycle and careful planning of work on site to prevent research from stopping in areas where work can not be outsourced or interrupted.