Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology | Gnädinger Architekten

• May 23, 2010

The Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology by German architectural firm Gnädinger Architekten was started from the idea of human muscle fibers, a metaphor for the simulation of complex biological processes and structures. Gnädinger created an amorphous, abstract façade, which wraps dynamically around the six-storey, reinforced concrete frame, encompassing around 1,000 square meters of floor space.

The architectural design was intended to bring high-tech and nature together in a harmonious manner. The organically-formed, white exterior buckled bands encircle the rounded body of the building, based on the model of human muscle fibers, a metaphor for the simulation of complex biological processes and structures.

Gnädinger Architekten

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology Gnädinger plusMOOD 03 Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology | Gnädinger Architekten

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology, image courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

+ Project description courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

A new building presents itself in the center of the New Berlin – the Science Center Medical Technology at Potsdamer Platz.

The new building is the representative office in the capital city for the medical technology company Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH. The team of Gnädinger Architects, together with the media designers Art+Com developed this unique public stage for the topic of movement, which is the first of it’s kind in the world. An exhibition invites visitors to “discover what moves us”. Starting from the idea of human muscle fibers, the Berlin architectural firm Gnädinger created an amorphous, abstract façade, which wraps dynamically around the six-storey, reinforced concrete frame, encompassing around 1,000 square meters of floor space.

The architectural design was intended to bring high-tech and nature together in a harmonious manner. The organically-formed, white exterior buckled bands encircle the rounded body of the building, based on the model of human muscle fibers, a metaphor for the simulation of complex biological processes and structures.

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology Gnädinger plusMOOD 10 595x396 Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology | Gnädinger Architekten

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology, image courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

The outer shell, an expressive aluminum and glass façade, is unusual for the city of Berlin, and provides a kind of acupuncture of new architecture amongst Berlin’s traditional stone buildings and glassy modernism. In the immediate vicinity of buildings by architects ranging from Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Hans Kollhoff and Helmut Jahn, this compact structure demonstrates a confident independence. The Science Center Medical Technology responds to the context of the city’s stone buildings and their serially repetitive stylistic devices with a new sensual, individualistic quality. With its complex, flowing forms based on freeform curves (splines), a new vibrancy is created, which goes beyond the already well-known standard of the tediously serial. The building therefore takes up this conceptual game in order to rediscover sensuality in the contemporary implementation of ornament in architecture.

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology Gnädinger plusMOOD 11 595x396 Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology | Gnädinger Architekten

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology, image courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

Behind the extravagant exterior with its convex and concave, tapered lines, three levels serve as exhibition space on over 500 square meters. The fourth level is for training and conference rooms and the top floor serves as a dialogue platform for interdisciplinary communication between doctors, patients, therapists, orthopedic technicians and manufacturers. Inside, the functional surfaces surround a central access and technical core. The zoning of the plan with a windmill-like access system allows the planning of different room sizes. Here, the architects arrange the floor space on the periphery and along the glass cladding, so that even behind the dynamic facade, daylight is guaranteed throughout the room, giving the building high quality as a residence and workplace.

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology Gnädinger plusMOOD 17 595x396 Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology | Gnädinger Architekten

Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology, image courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

The interior is consistently minimalist. The surfaces are white, with silver-gray stone or carpet on the floors. Even the furniture and the exhibits are predominantly white. At the core, in contrast, are colored glass panels with integrated TV monitors to provide information. Dark, wooden panels create atmospheric accents in the elevator and a few select places. Illumination is provided by means of so-called “light cells”, which are freely arranged, round light fields of various sizes and heights. The central, three-storey, steel staircase in the exhibition area was designed as a giant, sculptural light object. The translucent foil on the underside is fully backlit.

+ Project credits / data

Project: Otto Bock Science Center Medical Technology
Location: Berlin, Germany
Architect: Gnädinger Architekten

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Gnädinger Architekten

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Category: Architecture, Office, Selected

Comments (2)

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  1. Daniela says:

    Hi! I’d to know if you had the others plans of the buildings. I’m from Argentina and i’m studying architecture and i have to analyse this building but i can’t find the other plans and it’s driving me crazy! if you could help me i’ll aprrecciate! thankss!

  2. David says:

    Nope, this is all about the information submitted by architect.