Technical Centre

The Alfred Wegener Institute receives Technical Centre

AWI and the city of Bremerhaven present plans for future use at the 'Handelshafen' Area
[17. November 2016] 

Together with the city of Bremerhaven and the Fischereihafenbetriebsgesellschaft (FBG - fishing port operator), the Alfred Wegener Institute has specified the potential use of the area on the Klußmannstraße. A Technical Centre for technical development work as well as expedition preparations is to be built on the opposite side of the AWI campus at "Am Handelshafen". The design by kister scheithauer gross architects (ksg), who also realized parts of the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, prevailed in a tendering procedure.

"We are very pleased that we have found a place for the Technical Centre, including expansion facilities, near our campus at 'Handelshafen', which can now be realised through funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the State of Bremen," says Dr Karsten Wurr, Administrative Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute  Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). The Technical Centre will include a large hall for preparing expeditions with various workshops, laboratories and offices. The existing premises for technical development and expedition preparations are spread over the entire city area. For example, when  the preparation and follow-up work for Polarstern expeditions take place, it regularly gets quite full in many AWI buildings, as the number of employees has been increasing for years, forcing everyone to move closer together.

Technical innovations play an increasingly important role in marine and polar research. "Our engineers and scientists, for example, develop devices that are used at freezing temperatures in the Arctic deep sea, or ice drills that must work at minus 30 degrees in the Antarctic. In order to test these under operating conditions, a cold room and a test basin are planned. In this way we want to further strengthen AWI's research potential,” says Prof. Dr Karin Lochte, Scientific Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute.

The planning for an AWI technical centre began in 2013 with a demand survey among the scientists. First, a building was designed directly at the AWI campus at 'Handelshafen'. It turned out, however, that it would be difficult to accommodate storage facilities and parking spaces in addition to the building, where the typical containers could be placed for large-scale equipment deployed on expeditions. So it turned out quite well that the FBG was looking for new possibilities to use the area on the Klußmannstraße. Bremerhaven's Mayor Melf Grantz comments: “I am very convinced by the results of competition for the new construction of the AWI Technical Centre. The building will be an extraordinary entrée for the new urban development structure on the Klußmannstraße. I am also pleased that the former administration building of the Deutsche See will be used sensibly by the AWI. This is a huge gain for the further expansion of the research and development area.”

After all agreed on how the site should be used in the future, an invitation to tender for the planning of the entire site was launched. The design of kister scheithauer gross architects (ksg) from Cologne/Leipzig has prevailed. In addition to the Technical Centre, the urban development concept also offers expansion options for other users. Furthermore, the AWI will receive office space in the former Deutsche See building. However, it will take some time before the engineers and scientists can use the Technical Centre: first of all, calls for tenders for the construction and furnishing of the buildings must now be launched. The ground-breaking ceremony for the technical centre is expected to take place in the beginning of 2018, with completion in 2020.



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Das Institut

Das Alfred-Wegener-Institut forscht in den Polarregionen und Ozeanen der mittleren und hohen Breiten. Als eines von 19 Forschungszentren der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft koordiniert es Deutschlands Polarforschung und stellt Schiffe wie den Forschungseisbrecher Polarstern und Stationen für die internationale Wissenschaft zur Verfügung.