Glass amoebas:
Photonics Centre

sauerbruch hutton architekten: Louisa Hutton (*1957)
and Matthias Sauerbruch (*1955)

Photography by Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, colorprint, 42 x 60 cm
© Berlinische Galerie, 2011, Foto: Ralph Hinterkeuser

The photograph shows two apparently identical glass buildings with undulating façades on the left and right. Between them a space with concrete paving. The glazing in unfussy frames is hung inside with monochrome slat blinds – shades of green to the left, various colours to the right.

The Centre for Photonics and Optical Technologies in the Adlershof district of Berlin is striking. The two elegantly curved glass volumes, part of the Technology Park, stand out from afar in blue, green, red, orange and yellow. Colourful blinds made of slats transform the look of this ensemble with ever-changing colour combinations.

Experiments with glass and colour are a trademark of the architect duo Louisa Hutton (*1957) and Matthias Sauerbruch (*1955). For this complex they chose an organic ground plan with a flow of convex shapes. The design earned it the nickname “amoebas”. This makes the Photonics Centre, completed in 1998, a rare example of organic architecture in Berlin. The Architecture Collection at the Berlinische Galerie boasts the competition model, colour studies, colour photographs and other archive documents.

Photonics Centre, Berlin-Adlershof
42 x 60 cm
Acquired with budgetary funding from the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin 2001

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