New building at Freie Universität, Berlin - DE

The new structure, which was called “Holzlaube”, similar to the names of two other famous buildings on campus – “Rostlaube” and “Silberlaube” – came with impressive dimensions: The building located at FU Berlin’s Dahlem Campus has a usable area of almost 12,650 m² and is home to the degree programmes of the “smaller” faculties including the Institute for Ancient Oriental Studies, Korea Studies, and Turkish studies as well as a campus library with approx. 1 million volumes and 950 reading and work stations.

The Munich architectural office Florian Nagler was responsible for adapting the design and structure of the outer shell to the existing buildings, and, instead of going for metal, chose a Alaska yellow cedar façade. Rubner Holzbau Augsburg was put in charge of the timberwork and façade construction.

The total dimensions of 5,000 m² of post-and-beam façade and the 6,000 m² of outer wall elements are impressive, making it a truly large-scale project. Yet the key challenge to be overcome by Rubner Holzbau in the FU Berlin building project was the production and assembly of the façades due to all the detailed work required for the connection and the large scope of services to be provided in general.
The services provided by Rubner included, among other things, provision of crane and scaffolding, toplights and attics, extensive plumbing work, and sun protection. This project required a particularly high degree of interface management and coordination of subcontractors on the construction site.

The new building is a two- to four-storey reinforced concrete structure with several yards. It opened in the summer term of 2015 and, on a total usable area of 12,650 m², houses the Natural Sciences Campus Library and the institutes of “smaller” faculties as well as the Faculty of History and Cultural Studies.
After a two-month production phase, construction work started for Rubner Holzbau in March 2013 and was completed in March 2015.

Project details

Location Berlin Dahlem, Germany

Completion 2015

Post-and-beam façade 5,000 m², coated in white

Wall elements 6,000 m² with Alaska yellow cedar, varnished

Contractor Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Architect Florian Nagler Architects, Munich, Germany

Structural design Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner, Berlin, Germany

Photos Marc Winkel-Blackmore