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Skylight technologies bring stunning design

Skylight technologies meet stunning design

This is DZNE – the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases. The Centre brings together teams of scientists working on groundbreaking treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The building combines research with administration functions, managing projects related to this site and to the broader DZNE network across Germany.

Uncompromising design
The two centrepieces of this building are stunning atriums which flood the building with natural daylight, while offering an inspirational and unique architectural design. In this way, the building in itself becomes a point of reference, highlighting the groundbreaking research that goes on here. Indeed, when Stuttgart-based Wulf Architekten won the tender for this project, it was clear there was to be no compromise on design.

Light is one of the main tools of an architect. It’s one of the things that makes the difference between an idea and a piece of architecture

Steffen Vogt, Parter, Wulf Architekten.

Designing with daylight to bring spaces to life

The first of the two atriums is to be found at the entrance to the Centre. You immediately notice the abundance of daylight, and looking up, you see the source of that daylight – rows of minimalist, low-profile skylights supported by unique, custom-designed beams.

The second atrium is perhaps more impressive still. The main laboratory building is built in the form of an oval, and has an atrium running its entire length. At the top of the atrium, there is an oval-shaped glass roof – a true signature feature that calls to mind the hull of a ship. Creating this was to be a significant architectural challenge, but together with VELUX Modular Skylights, the architects were able to bring the design to life. The skylights are actually mounted above the oval structure, to give these stunning results.

When creating a glass roof that will be an architectural focal point like this one, the glass structure itself must be beautiful. Low profile frames and 100% hidden mechanicals for ventilation/smoke venting units ensure a stunning visual display which is in keeping with the rest of the design.

Take a look at this video to see how this unique glass roof became a reality

Energy, inspiration and pride
This high-performing building is a new landmark on its campus. While the facilities meet and exceed performance expectations, perhaps the greatest achievement is the happiness and pride experienced by employees at the facility. They particularly note the enjoyable communal spaces and the positive contribution played by lots of daylight and fresh air in bringing energy and inspiration to their working lives.

Read more on how skylights can change the design of commercial and public buildings here.


When you come in you can see the sky, open your mind, and feel proud of your workplace. I think it’s an amazing building

Camille Brosset, DZNE Administration

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