A new, striking laboratory extends the renowned Tropical Institute by architect Fritz Schuhmacher. On the acute-angled site, west of the listed old building, the solitary brick building crowns the prominent neighbourhood on Geestkante.

Project Data:

Building Owner: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
Authority for City development and Environment
GFA: 6.200 m²
Dates: 2002 – 2009

1st Prize, Realisation Competition, 2002

2. Prize architecture award BDA Hamburg

Photos: HGEsch, Christian Richters

Due to the slightly inwards tilted front wall the building sculpture stands free, finding its own equilibrium. The wall and roof areas are clad with red-coloured bricks reminiscent of the surrounding buildings. Two counter-rotating inclined roofs are set in dialogue with the expressive roofing of the old building. The new structure remains just below the ridge of the old building and opening up great views onto the famous tower of the Tropical Institute.

The internal arrangement envisages a strict separation between research laboratories and the keeping of animals. Whilst the five upper storeys house the laboratories of highest safety standards, the two lower levels accommodate experimental animal husbandry and breeding. The ground floor of the new building serves as the distribution level. There is no public entrance at this part; access is granted solely using the bridge towards the old building – the connection between the old and the new.