Max Planck Institute

Invigorating redesign

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg has the largest specialized library in this field in Europe. The institute is dedicated to basic research and international knowledge transfer. brandherm + krumrey were commissioned with the redesign of three public areas for the institute building near the Outer Alster. In addition to a spatial-functional overhaul, an atmospheric upgrade was also desired. The remodeled premises are centrally located on the first floor of the Max Planck Institute. They serve as a lounge and communication zone and are used by both employees and international guests. The goal of the interior planning was to take up the existing material and color world and continue it with a new contemporary design language. The multimedia area kicks off the sequence of rooms: an open counter at the entrance to the library and new height-adjustable workstations now invite users to research the rich stock of books. The reading corner, which had been little used until then, was transformed into a lounge-like rest area. The textiles of the seat cushions and wall coverings enliven the existing color scheme with mottled shades of gray, green and orange, while at the same time setting their own accents. Directly adjacent to the multimedia area, a former office was gutted. In its place, a new lounge for exchanges and meetings was created. A platform element with various seating options divides the new space and encourages informal conversations. Finally, an open side of the podium leads to the newly created “Café Max”, which welcomes guests with a homely ambience. Filigree white tubular steel chairs and large pendant lights made of bright textile mesh evoke the summer lightness of a garden pub. The redesign of the institute areas thus combines functional optimization with a high quality of stay. Incorporating existing design elements, the interior design was modernized without counteracting the timelessness of the building.

Max Planck Institute



NPC Architects

Joachim Grothus