In the Bergedorf district, the Laser Zentrum Nord (North Laser Center) pioneers the future of the German steel-construction industry. Here, students and faculty of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg can explore how laser-technology can be used for cheaper and more accurate construction and welding techniques. Accordingly, the Laser Zentrum Nord itself rises from the ground in long, straight, laser-beam-like lines. A total of 4,970 sq-meters of floor space over three stories afford research space for the study of the use of lasers in new construction techniques. Classrooms, offices and student study spaces are also housed within the building, as well as an enormous nitrogen tank, thanks to a special permit. Composed primarily of reinforced concrete, the structure is clad in a façade of perforated and seamed aluminum sheets. In several sections a yellow film has been applied underneath the perforated aluminum, providing a muted sense of color. Interiorly, the grey-yellow color scheme is continued throughout the concrete walls and floors.
The building’s design is intended as a mediator between technology and nature, and was inspired by the precision of laser-technology. It rises like a beam of radiation out of the ground. Laser-technology was used during construction to cut out the entrance to the parking garage. All of the cut surfaces were coated in yellow before being covered by the perforated aluminum sheets, the color scheme serving as homage to the technology.
A technology transfer center for optical and production technologies, the Laser Zentrum Nord is the first completed construction of the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg. Projected not only as a nucleus for a “science park,” the building actually serves as a model for the entire district.