Research and Development Centre in Meiningen
Located in Thuringia, the centre produces optical network solutions for the telecommunications sector. Since this technology involves the use of light signals, light became an important theme of the design. The large monopitch lantern roofs, with their striking silhouette, lend the building an unmistakable identity. Based on a modular layout with alternate flat-roofed tracts and raised atrium strips, the building can be extended to north and south by removing the timber-element facades at these ends. The two-storey complex, which has a steel structure stiffened by concrete floors, is built into the slope of the site at one end, so that visitors enter the hall from the west on the upper level. The offices are laid out on this level in parallel galleries that extend from the circulation zone in comb-like form. Craft activities, stores and technical spaces are situated on the floor below. An important aim of the design was to ensure that all areas are naturally lighted. The raised lantern roofs admit daylight from the north over their entire length, providing non-glare conditions, while still allowing sunlight to enter in a controlled form from the south. Optical systems on the underside of the pitched roofs deflect light through glazed partitions to the spaces below, creating a bright, friendly working environment. The lantern roofs project out at the eastern end, shading the glazed facade and providing cover for the recreational platforms that extend from inside to outside.