GESIS Institute Building in Mannheim

The new building for GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is the second and concluding element of the overall concept for urban development from the 2013 competition. The L-shaped structure connects seamlessly to the University of Mannheim’s research and teaching building on city block B6, which was completed by our office in 2017. Its structural configuration and facade correspond to those of the first construction phase, thus creating a homogeneous urban image.


Like the research and teaching building, the distinctive feature here also lies in the further development of the block’s perimeter: The building remains legible as a perimeter block, yet protrusions into the building plots simultaneously serve to spatially articulate the block’s interior. In this way, the outside and the inside of the block’s perimeter establish a new relationship. Even from the street, the inner courtyard is discernible through the open lobby. It is also enhanced as a publicly accessible place to linger.

With its flexibly usable office space, laboratories, and open communication zones on each floor, the institute building provides space for knowledge exchange and social science research.The upper floors have a classic tripartite arrangement with dual corridors. A conference area and library are located on the ground floor. Tastefully understated materials such as oak wood, dark linoleum, and terrazzo along with white walls and ceilings create an upscale work environment. Glazing and double-height spaces add brightness and transparency throughout the building. The central stair with its self-supporting flights and flat steel stringers spirals up sculpturally to reach the top floor.


Direct commission, follow-up contract
02 2017

Start of planning
04 2017

06 2021

Land Baden-Württemberg, represented by
Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg
Amt Mannheim und Heidelberg, Mannheim

B6, 4-5, 68159 Mannheim


Service phases

Planning team
Sebastian Röder (PL), Sonja Schmuker (PL), Elif Yücel

Construction management 
Jo Carle Architekten, Stuttgart

Structure planning
Kempen Krause Ingenieure, Aachen

Landscape design
faktorgrün, Heidelberg

Interior architecture (library, open workspaces)
HI Architektur, Stuttgart

Building physics
Wolfgang Sorge Ingenieurbüro für Bauphysik, Nürnberg

Public art
Lorenzo Pompa

© Roland Halbe