A strikingly successful experiment

The striking new building of the Experimenta Science Center in Heilbronn sets new standards in terms of architecture and sustainability.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 2/4/2020

Science you can touch: In the interactive exhibition in Heilbronn’s Experimenta Science Center, which was founded in 2009, visitors can experience the fascinating world of study in a playful way. Since the start of last year, Experimenta has also had notably more space to dedicate to the joy of discovery thanks to a spectacular new building: The competition for the expansion of Germany’s biggest science center, which was launched by the Dieter Schwarz Foundation back in 2013, was won by Sauerbruch Hutten Architects. Their remarkable new building, which features different levels that each rotate a little further on the central axis and are thus offset from one another, is connected to the existing brick building via an underground passage.

A total area of 25,000 square meters provides space for numerous worlds of discovery, a circular cinema on the basement level and an observatory on the roof. Starting with the generously-dimensioned foyer, a spiral of space rises upwards, while plenty of daylight pours in through the panoramic windows. Thematic areas and creative studios invite explorers big and small to interact, while from the roof visitors can enjoy a magnificent view over Heilbronn. Insights and outlooks are guiding principles in the architecture of Experimenta, hence the red supporting structure has been integrated into the architecture as a visible element. Thanks to the combination of reinforced concrete compound decks and a reinforced concrete core, the exhibition spaces require no supports, so the transitions between the rooms are fluid. The outstanding quality of the design and the building culture has been recognized by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), which awarded Experimenta its “Diamond” certification, the highest available. It is the first museum ever to have achieved this.