German architectural practice Barkow Leibinger completed a small energy-efficient campus for the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in the medieval village of Waischenfeld in northern Bavaria. Nestled in the picturesque Wiesent river valley, the timber-clad Fraunhofer Research Campus combines the quaint and traditional village architectural style with a modern aesthetic. The spatial arrangement and materials palette for the campus’ four asymmetric buildings earned the project a “passive energy” rating.
The medieval Waischenfeld village comprises a dense network of indigenous masonry and post-and-beam timber gabled-roof buildings. The architects respected the style and scale of Waischenfeld by splitting the campus programmatic spaces into four gabled-roof buildings, instead of a tall monolithic structure. The two to three-story-tall asymmetric buildings are carefully oriented to optimize views. The building cluster is united at the center with a lobby topped by a flat roof constructed with timber truss work and triangular skylights. The scalable design also makes room for the addition of two future buildings in the south.
Set atop a concrete base, the buildings are clad in larch and topped with standing-seam copper; the larch and copper will develop a patina over time. Large square operable windows framed in white and of varying sizes punctuate the building facade to recall the village’s historic window styles. The campus includes a variety of facilities from learning and research to leisure and rest areas. The active spaces, including the laboratories, offices, and conference rooms, are housed on the lower levels, whereas the guest rooms are located on the upper levels.