Schulz und Schulz: DBFZ – German Biomass Research Centre - best architects 23

Schulz und Schulz

DBFZ – German Biomass Research Centre

best architects 23

office/administrative buildings


Leipzig, Germany


Gustav Willeit


The centre’s newfound presence comes from the relative positioning of the administration and research buildings, which span a public forecourt on an arterial road in Leipzig as the institute’s address. The tall office tower provides a striking landmark in the heterogeneous urban environment. The buildings for research and administration are connected by a strip-like structure on the ground floor containing laboratories and seminar rooms to create an ensemble. The gateway in this strip separates the public forecourt from the courtyard reserved for DBFZ staff and visitors. Both the structure and its façade are based on innovative sustainable timber construction using wood sourced from local forestry operations. The load-bearing inner and outer walls of the upper floors were built using a timber frame construction method, while the floors are timber-and-concrete composite slabs. Building-high cores made of recycled concrete for vertical circulation and services provide reinforcement for the structure. The choice of timber for both the building shell and façade cladding offers several energy-saving and environmental advantages: resource-efficient use of a renewable raw material for both structural and finishing elements, increased comfort and workplace quality thanks to the positive human response to wood, short construction times due to the high prefabrication level of the timber components, and easy dismantling and recycling.