The Perfect Choice

Tubingen is one of the five main university towns in Germany and the first in importance with its nearly 25 thousand students. The University of Tubingen (Eberhard-Karls-Universität) is public and it is one of the oldest in the country, being founded in 1477 by Eberhard VI, Duke of Württemberg. This educational excellence is among the most important in the world for the study of medicine, natural sciences and human sciences. Within the campus, RDS Partner and Wenzel+Wenzel Architects designed the Centre for Molecular Plant Biology (ZMBP in German) covering an area of 5,400 square meters. Most of the activities within this building are devoted to research: the organization of ZMBP boasts 16 independent research groups that share access to highly specialized central service units. Sharing such facilities requires a certain effort but it also promotes cross fertilization as researchers will have to interact and communicate in a joint network. Central structures, such as workshops, an isotope laboratory and teaching rooms are available to all institutes. The building as seen from the outside is characterized by the concrete slanted bars that connect and support the slabs of each floor in combination with the glass façade in the background. Aesthetics and functionality are meeting outstandingly well in this building and this is certainly adding source of inspiration to the scientists. Which floor could fit better than Kayar K61 in such a project? An innovative flooring concept designed by Sottsass Associati with a minimal but organic look, coconut fibers within rubber and of course in a dark green colour: “What else?” the architect must have thought…Walking comfort and excellent impact sound reduction properties came along with the choice and were certainly welcome. Kayar meets the requirements of the German protocol AgBB, the Blue Angel and the GREENGUARD GOLD Certification which includes safety factors to account for sensitive individuals and, in addition to limiting emissions of over 360 VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), requires to comply with requirements of the California Section 01350 ensuring maximum safety for users of the premises in which it is installed.