A new building for science
von | Dec 19, 2011

The Kurt-Schwabe-Institut für Mess- und Sensortechnik (KSI) is located in a rural region near Chemnitz in Germany. The compact building, by Dresden-based architecture studio Dähne, is designed to promote dialog with its natural surroundings. It was built parallel to an existing red brick-and-stone building and, in terms of size, fits in admirably with its environment. In contrast to the existing building, the façade is clad with sand-colored fiber cement panels by Cembrit.

In order to make a direct visual reference to the stonework of the existing building, narrow fiber cement panels were applied horizontally. Staggering the 3050 x 250-millimeter panels provided a contemporary take on the pattern the joints on the old building display. The use of small panels means the end result does not give the impression of a technical grid, but a delicate arrangement. The fixed slats at the top of the windows, designed to provide shade, are likewise made of fiber cement panels. They appear to have been cut from the façade and, being made of the same material, facilitate a harmonious overall impression.

Scientific Institute for measuring and sensor technology near Chemnitz, Germany, designed by Dähne architects, Dresden | All photos ©