A single roof at Berlin-Buch for scientists, doctors and patients

A joint press release by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

From 2017, a new building will be constructed on the Berlin-Buch research campus that will unite several institutions under one roof. The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin launched a design competition for a new central site of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). The winner has now been chosen, having presented plans for an extension and link building that perfectly reflect the philosophy of the institutions.  

The existing Robert Rössle Clinic building on the research campus in northeast Berlin is already being used by scientists from the MDC and Charité. Here they work with various university outpatient clinics and clinical research institutions on translating knowledge from basic research into clinical practice – particularly in the joint Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC).

View of the first prize.

First place: perspective view. Picture: kleyer.koblitz.letzel.freivogel.architekten Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin

In autumn 2015, the MDC and the Charité launched a competition for a new building to replace part of the old clinic on Lindenberger Weg. The winner has now been announced: Berlin architectural firm Kleyer.Koblitz.Letzel.Freivogel. “The new building creates an architectural link between the scientists, doctors, patients and study participants,” says Prof. Thomas Sommer, who was involved in the selection process as Interim Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim Scientific Director at the MDC. “It will create a new, communicative space – and such close contact and information sharing are crucial for translational research.” Prof. Karl Max Einhäupl, Chairman of the Executive Board at the Charité, says: “We expect the project to benefit translational research, therefore we believe that patients will also reap the rewards of our joint efforts.” The building stands in the immediate vicinity of the MDC, which conducts patient-oriented basic research and will oversee the construction work. The building should be ready for occupancy by spring 2019.

With this new building, the BIH – within which the MDC and Charité institutionalised their joint translational activities – will gain a new location: “From 2017, a very important BIH location will arise on the Buch campus that unites several labs in one building. This is extremely important for successful interdisciplinary research at the BIH,” says Prof. Erwin Böttinger, Chairman of the Board of Directors. The BIH is financing the project with around €19.4 from federal (90 percent) and state (10 percent) funds.

Derzeitige Straßenansicht des ehemaligen Robert-Rössle-Instituts.

Current view of the former Robert Rössle Clinic. Picture: Ken Schönberg/MDC

The new structure replaces buildings of the old Robert Rössle Clinic, which were constructed in the 1970s. The jury praised the architects’ sensitive approach to incorporating the new design with the existing buildings, creating a coherent structural ensemble with a spacious courtyard and several spaces where people using the facility can mingle and linger.

“I am delighted that this important decision coincides with the start of my contract,” says Prof. Martin Lohse, who became the new Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director of the MDC on April 1. The new building will give physical expression to the opportunities that the BIH brings to Berlin, he says. “For the MDC, this project opens up new possibilities for translating its findings and discoveries into patient application even more quickly.”


Sixteen architectural firms submitted competition entries. Second and third place went to Glass Kramer Löbbert and Erchinger Wurfbaum. Alongside the winners, special commendation was given to Scheidt Kasprusch; Heinle, Wischer und Partner; and Numrich Albrecht Klumpp. As stipulated in the call to tender, the awarding authority will carry out a procurement procedure involving all prizewinners following the competition. The German Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) will help the MDC carry out this procedure. All competition entries are on display at the BBR building (exhibition opening: April 5, 2016 at 6 p.m.)

Further information

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