Zeiss: New High-Tech Site Jena

The architectural concept for Zeiss’ new high-tech site is aligned with the work environments of the future. The building materials and the use of prism shapes and lines resembling beam paths reflect Zeiss’ history and brand values: precision, innovation, transparency, and modernity. (Source: Zeiss)

Zeiss unveiled the result of the architectural competition for its new, high-tech site in Jena. The goal is to create a high-tech complex at the company’s original location, whose modern and networked design integrates all the necessary functions for Zeiss and will also accommodate the work environments of the future. At the same time, the space will be as open and flexible as possible to ensure not only optimum discussions and cooperation, but also networking with a city focused on research and science.

“This design depicts Zeiss as a vibrant, well-integrated company that also stands for openness and networking. We wanted the new complex to be open, modern, and flexible, and we believe the structure of this building, the surface design and the visual language bring these attributes to life. Scalability and flexibility that will ensure good working conditions for the next 30 years and beyond are also integral parts of the design,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Kaschke, president & CEO of Carl Zeiss. “This new building will be a visible sign that Zeiss’ founding location is a leading site for innovation. I am convinced that it will fit harmoniously into the urban surroundings of Jena and the natural environment, rather than dominating or clashing with the landscape.”

Dr. Thomas Nitzsche, the mayor of the city of Jena, added: “This extremely inviting design embodies modernity and independence, while still integrating the complex into the broader cityscape and the architecturally challenging topography. The new building from Zeiss will be a powerful reminder that Jena is focused on its future as a research, science, and economic powerhouse.”

Dr. Michael Kaschke, president & CEO of Carl Zeiss (left), and Dr. Thomas Nitzsche, mayor of the city of Jena, at the unveiling of the result from the architectural competition for Zeiss’ new high-tech site in Jena. (Source: Zeiss)

Since the beginning, Zeiss has been in constant close contact with the State of Thuringia and the city of Jena during the planning stages for this building. The final decision was preceded by an urban-planning ideas competition. Five architecture firms active throughout the world took part. The architecture firm Nething, headquartered in Neu-Ulm with additional offices in Leipzig and Berlin, won.

The high-tech complex is distinguished by the networked architectural design that is also flexible and scalable. The structure of the building is divided into two ground floors integrated into the slope of the hill for production, labs and infrastructure and extends seven stories upwards. Office space will be located in the upper parts of the building which form a series of networked spaces extending in all directions. Two covered atria go from the upper roof level all the way to the ground floor, allowing plenty of light to reach all functional areas. These different, interconnecting levels will provide open, highly visible spaces for communication.

An integrated event forum with a large venue for 500 to 750 people will be available to the city as well as external institutions and partners. Zeiss is focusing on creating a healthy growth environment for young companies and spin-offs at the new site.

A modern, ecological, and city-friendly transportation concept is being developed that will included greater use of local public transportation and bikes, while also supporting e-bikes and e-mobility.

Zeiss has purchased factory premises from Schott that were partially unused. Energy-efficient buildings will be constructed within this area comprising around 80,000 square meters. These will support a new infrastructure and a more modern work environment .

Two listed brick buildings in the Otto-Schott-Strasse will be preserved. As part of the plan, they will be restored and integrated in the new site. The current Jena sites will all be housed in the state-of-the-art building, which is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

The State Development Corporation of Thuringia will continue to develop the old Zeiss premises at the current site in Lichtenhain. This location will offer excellent opportunities for other companies, institutions and spin-offs in the near future. These efforts are directly connected with the city’s development plans that will also address the current shortage of space for industry.

With this investment, the company is continuing its strategic global investment and growth trajectory. For Zeiss, Jena will remain one of the top sites for innovation. Employees from the units within the industrial quality & research, medical technology, semiconductor manufacturing technology segments, corporate research & technology, and the shared production unit of the group will move into the new, integrated high-tech site. The building is designed to accommodate up to 2,500 employees. (Source: Zeiss)

Link: Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany

Further reading: Groundbreaking for the Zeiss Innovation Hub at KIT, photonicsviews.com, 9th April 2018

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