The Foundation Stone of the New MPI Institute is in Place

The Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter celebrated the laying of the foundation stone for its new building on the research campus in Bahrenfeld (Germany)

June 09, 2017

Today, the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) celebrated the laying of the foundation stone to its new institute on the research campus Bahrenfeld. Since its inception in 2013, scientists of the Max Planck Institute have already taken up their work in one theoretical and two experimental departments in the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) on the research campus. The new building next to the CFEL will provide room for two more experimental departments and several junior research groups.

MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter Zoom Image
MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter
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Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research and Equality: "I am delighted that the renowned Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter now gets the long desired new building on the research campus Bahrenfeld. Scientists at the institute work on the forefront of defining the material forces in the universe. Moreover, today's foundation stone celebration is another step toward establishing the international science park in Bahrenfeld. Right here and now on the research campus, we are building a globally unique center for research into the structure of matter. This project proceeds with the collaboration of academic and non-academic partners and will further strengthen Hamburg's visibility as international science and innovation metropolis“.

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The hammeskrause architekten bda (architects firm) gave the new building a terrace-like design. It will have 6,300 square meters of usable floor space, features vibration-decoupled laboratories for physics research and laboratories for chemists and biologists.   There will also be space for offices and seminars, a computer center, a mechanical machine shop and a cafeteria. Similar to the CFEL building, the new institute design will have an open concept floor plan to promote the communication between scientists and to generate a high level of synergy.

Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society elaborates: "The new building will enable us to attract additional excellent scientists to work at the already internationally prominent and highly visible institute using high power light sources. The fact that we can now add another building  underscores the determination of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Germany) to create top conditions for science at its best."

The estimated construction time is two years. Therefore, the construction work should be completed in the second half of 2019. The City of Hamburg will provide the budget for the EUR 37M building project by way of special financing.

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Angel Rubio, Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, acknowledges: "The foundation stone celebration for our new building marks a special milestone in the development of our institute. The building design will give us a chance to extend our research on the structural dynamics of material in the state of non-equilibrium because we will be able to establish two additional, worldwide renowned departments for experimental physics. Thanks to its unrivaled infrastructure for advancing the sciences requiring high power radiation sources and the existing expertise in the fields of photonics and structural analysis, the research campus is the ideal location for our institute."

On June 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM, representatives from science and politics in Hamburg as well as representatives of the Max Planck Society and the involved architectural firm gathered at the construction site to celebrate laying the foundation stone. Deputy Mayor of Hamburg and Senator for Science, Research and Equality Katharina Fegebank, the Vice President of the Max Planck Society Professor Dr. Ferdi Schüth and the representative of the architectural firm hammeskrause architekten bda Markus Hammes greeted the guests and coworkers. The Managing Director of the MPSD Professor Dr. Angel Rubio addressed the audience as MPI representative.

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The Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter

Using new radiation sources, scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter are able to map the characteristics and behavior of matter with a spatial resolution of fractions of nanometers in intervals of a few femto seconds (that is in the range of one billionth of one millionth of a second). Using this method rewards the scientists with completely new insights into the structure and function of biological materials and the properties of solid state matter and their electronic and structural dynamics.

Hamburg with its unique infrastructure in the fields of third and fourth generation light sources and its abundance of international expertise is the ideal location for this Max Planck Institute. Within a context created by the CFEL, a lively collaboration in the fields of photonics and structural analysis exists with the University of Hamburg and the German Electron Synchrotron DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron). Furthermore, the special mission of the institute requires access to high power radiation sources. Right now, such radiation sources exist only in Hamburg in the form of the free-electron laser FLASH, the European XFEL with a 2017 launch date and the synchrotron radiation source PETRA III. With the Max Planck Institute in full force, Hamburg will be well on the way to becoming the international center for structural research. The institute is certainly another gem to further boost the visibility of the research campus Hamburg-Bahrenfeld.