Darmstadt, DE


Project Management, Architecture, Building Services, Laboratory Planning, Clean Room Planning


Merck KGaA


18.979 m² GFA | 85.468 m³ GV

Construction costs

EURO 45.8 million

Project term

June 2006 – September 2010


1st prize (2006)

The Material Research Center (MRC) is part of our master plan for Merck’s research campus at the Darmstadt site. It comprises two six-storey laboratory buildings and a clean-room technical center and now houses large parts of the research and development departments of the chemicals business sector, with around 340 members of staff who previously worked throughout the site and/or at several locations.

The research and development center creates a modern laboratory landscape: A communicative working environment with short travelling distances as well as light-flooded documentation and office zones have been created. Meeting points for exchanging information and meeting rooms can be reached directly throughout the premises. The workplace design was implemented with great importance placed on systematization, so that all workplaces could be flexibly used for altered research activities as well as other tasks. Where necessary, workplaces were specially adapted to certain tasks.

Merck MRC Darmstadt

The main challenge for the planners in the conception and design stage of the project was to develop a joint concept suitable for the various research groups spread over several locations. Several workshops were implemented in which the working methods of the departments, their objectives for the coming years and their potential for expansion were discussed in detail. In additional ongoing steps, synergies were discovered and the type of collaboration as well as the establishment of joint structures were developed. The common utilization of central functions, logistics, supply and disposal, as well as the plant infrastructure had to be optimized.

Merck MRC Darmstadt

As well as transparency and openness in design, a key planning focus was to develop a particularly energy-efficient laboratory building. Utilizing thermal building and flow simulations particularly enabled us to optimise the essential criteria for improving the energy balance. As a result, we were finally able to achieve 25 percent below the requirements of the EnEV and 80 percent below the CO2 emissions compared to similar laboratories.