A House for Research

After the foundation in 1963, it took 11 years until the Institute could reside in its own building.

The Vision

Scientific work means not only individual achievement but also gaining knowledge collectively. The scientist needs, on the one hand, seclusion and quietness, but, on the other hand, also intensive communication with colleagues. Therefore, the specifications for the architects Hermann Fehling and Daniel Gogel were very simple: 1. Reading and thinking alone. 2. Discussing and working with others. They designed the building from the inside outward—user requirements determined the form and structure of the building. Small offices and laboratories with windows to the tranquil planted inner courtyard, and doors to the quiet connecting corridors, allows for concentrated work. At the same time, areas and rooms invite for meetings and communication generously and openly.

bewegte Deckenlandschaft des Institutsgebäudes
© David Ausserhofer

The Building

For the first time, Fehling+Gogel combined three design principles in a building: the snail-like “coil” of the construction dimensions around a central tower. The transfer of motion sequences in the building to its form and the creation of generously allocated communal and meeting spaces. Therefore, the Institute’s entrance and hall stairway has been structured as one spacious, adventure scenery. It is meant to motivate employees to pause and converse when meeting coincidentally. In 2008, the building was extensively refurbished. The heating and building technology was brought up to today’s standard and a new color concept provides for friendly accents.

The Garden

A special place for recreation and inspiration is also the Institute’s garden that gives the house a framework. Diverse crop and decorative plants are cultivated here. For the employees, the garden means not only a wonderful view but also the luxury of a varied stay away from the writing desk and computer.

Short and Compact

Max Planck Institut for Human Development
Architects: Hermann Fehling and Daniel Gogel, Berlin

Contest: 1964-1966
Construction: 1972–1974


Cover des Katalogs

In 2009, the Institute initiated a comprehensive work showcase of the architects Fehling+Gogel. The exhibition “The Max Planck Society as Building Owner of the Architects Hermann Fehling and Daniel Gogel” is also documented in an extensive catalog. Further information (in German only) can be found via www.fehling-gogel.de