Potsdam – Anyone who is out and about in the rural surroundings of the Bornimer Feldflur may be surprised to come across such a modern building as the “Circle” research center: the two-storey cube on the site of the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB ) in Bornim and is immediately recognizable as a place of science. Thanks to its low height and the restrained facade design, it does not look like a foreign body, but rather blends in well with the surrounding landscape.

The Circle (the name stands for “Center for Research and Communication in a Circular Bioeconomy”) is one of 39 buildings and outdoor facilities that will be open to the public on June 26th on Architecture Day in Brandenburg. The building material wood plays a prominent role, 30 percent of the objects are wooden buildings. In Potsdam, four houses are open to interested parties, in Potsdam-Mittelmark five. The architects offer guided tours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., advance bookings are sometimes necessary; more information is on the website www.ak-brandenburg.de/tag-der-architektur-2022 to find.

Researching the interaction of arable land and drought

In the circle built in 2019, the ATB primarily carries out chemical-physical, microbiological and molecular-biological analyzes in order to learn something about the interaction between arable soil and drought, to improve utilization concepts for biomass or to research the production of biochar and biogas. “Right from the start, I found the role that sustainability plays in the work of the ATB fascinating,” says architect Thiemo Pesch from the architecture office AGN in Halle, who designed the new building. “It’s all about biological growth and decay.”

Thiemo Pesch.Photo: private

ATB initially wanted to use natural materials such as wood in the new building. However, this proved to be difficult: “In a scientific building with chemical-biological laboratories, there are very high safety and fire protection regulations, where wood would have had too many functional disadvantages,” says Pesch.

In order to take up the earthiness of the house, the architect applied a brass alloy to parts of the outer walls, which weathers and darkens over time. It can be seen on the roof terraces, where cut surfaces are created by “subtracting” the cubature, resulting in a contrast between the light gray outer shell and brass-colored incisions. According to Pesch, this is reminiscent of a broken shell or shell.

The connection to the earth can also be found in the foyer, which is illuminated by a skylight: “One of the walls in the foyer consists of clay from the excavation pit,” says Pesch. “We wanted the house to reflect our work,” says Uta Tietz from the ATB board. This was achieved through the use of metal and clay: “The connection to the soil is an important basis for our research,” says Tietz.

The plantation on Dortustraße can also be visited

Other objects that can be viewed on Architecture Day in Potsdam include the redesigned plantation on Dortustrasse: the green town square, which was laid out by Peter Joseph Lenné in the 18th century, was replaced by a multifunctional landscape for Games and sports added. In addition to architect Stefan Reimann, Brandenburg’s Minister of Construction Guido Beermann (CDU) and Andreas Rieger, President of the Brandenburg Chamber of Architects, will also be there at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The plantation on Dortustrasse has become a multifunctional landscape for games and sports.Photo: hutterreimann landscape architecture

In Babelsberg, the Pension Zeitlos will be open to architecture fans on June 26: In the course of the expansion of the breakfast area and the reception, the interior design was redesigned with a focus on the color “Prussian Blue”. There are guided tours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Krass optician’s branch in the Stern-Center presents itself as ultra-modern: the goods are displayed in zigzag-shaped showcases, counters made of blue-rolled steel, glass and velor are reminiscent of the inside of a spectacle case. The store is to act as a prototype for the optician chain. There will be a guided tour at twelve o’clock, registration by e-mail [email protected]

At 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Töplitz, the “minimum plus house” can be visited, a house clad in wood. Wood was also the main building material of a multi-generation house in Schwielowsee, which can be seen at 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. after registration at [email protected] is open to those interested. The lodging house in the Caputh Castle Park, which has been renovated in line with the requirements of a monument, can be visited from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. without prior registration. The fully renovated Villa Lustig in Kleinmachnow, which serves as a after-school care center, offers guided tours at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. In Jeserig (Wiesenburg), a brick depot originally used as a stable was converted into a residential building according to the KfW 70 standard. There are guided tours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.