Geosciences receive sustainable new institute building

Along Kiel's Olshausenstraße, a new, state-of-the-art building is being built for Kiel University’s (CAU) Institute of Geosciences, including a Geotechnikum (geosciences technical centre). This will strengthen research and teaching in climate change, coastal development and the sustainable use and conservation of georesources. Over €75 million will be spent on building the complex, which is being coordinated by Gebäudemanagement Schleswig-Holstein AöR (GMSH). The state of Schleswig-Holstein is covering almost €70 million of this through the IMPULS infrastructural modernisation programme. The CAU is investing an additional €5.8 million into the initial fixtures and silver certification according to the national assessment system for sustainable building (BNB, Bewertungssystem für nachhaltiges Bauen), which the nine-storey building is to receive. Today (2 March 2020) Minister of Finance Monika Heinold, State Secretary of Science Dr Oliver Grundei, GMSH Managing Director Frank Eisoldt, CAU President Professor Dr Lutz Kipp, Dean Professor Dr Frank Kempken and Professor Dr Thomas Meier laid the foundation stone for the new research building. Completion is planned for the spring of 2023. The new building will be replacing the missing institute building on the Anger grounds.

“Our IMPULS infrastructural modernisation programme is making it possible to build this complex new structure, where research and teaching go hand in hand. Geosciences are more current and in demand than ever before, with the topics of climate change, coastal development and resource conservation. That the building itself should contribute towards protecting the climate is only logical,” said Minister of Finance Monika Heinold.

“This brilliant and highly modern new institute building will give researchers an inspirational place to work in order to continue producing outstanding research and teaching,” said State Secretary of Science Dr Oliver Grundei.

CAU President Professor Lutz Kipp thanked everyone involved for the extremely good cooperation in the project. The result is “a modern temple of cutting-edge research and teaching, which will radiate far beyond Kiel’s borders. The Anger grounds and the new Geosciences building therefore represent the CAU’s new start over the past few years. In another few years’ time, one of the state’s most modern laboratories of the future will stand here on Westring.”

“This new building is our largest construction site in Schleswig-Holstein and simultaneously a milestone for urban development and structural engineering to redevelop the CAU campus,” said GMSH Managing Director Frank Eisoldt.

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12 of the 15 working groups for Geosciences at the CAU will be housed in the new building, along with the institute’s administration department. These working groups have various spatial needs and specific demands for their labs. On top of this, the requirements for interdisciplinary cooperation in the priority research areas of Marine Geosciences and Applied Geosciences also need to be met. This is why the institute will be designed to be as flexible as possible, in order to be able to implement changing ratios of lab and office spaces on each level as well as functional relationships.

“The interdisciplinary Department of Geosciences supports the development of the System Earth at various temporal and spatial scales, thus making an important contribution towards climate change, the energy transition and resource scarcity. This new building, which gives the impression of a polished gemstone, provides Geosciences with the urgently required basis for research and teaching over the coming decades,” said Professor Dr Frank Kempken, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

“The broad bandwidth of methods used at the Institute of Geosciences makes planning, building and operating such a structure extremely complex. We are not just building standard offices or labs, but a highly specialised, ultra-modern location for research and teaching. Large scale experimental setups, rock presses which must be very stable, messy sawing and dirty work on rock samples, as well as highly sensitive chemical analyses which must sometimes be undertaken in cleanroom conditions, need to function right next to each other without any problems. We are especially proud of the fact that the construction of an additional Geotechnikum was possible, thanks to the Ministry of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs, giving Kiel a laboratory for large scale Applied Geosciences experiments which is unique throughout Germany,” said Birgit Schneider, represented by Professor Dr Thomas Meier.

The new institute building will have usable space of over 7,100 square metres. The basement and ground floor form the plinth of the building, which almost fills the plot completely. This plinth will contain special labs, workshops and storage facilities for rock collections. A wide staircase in the entrance foyer on the ground floor will lead up to the first floor and will serve as an area for communication, presentation and waiting. There will be seminar rooms and large dry experiment rooms on the first floor. The Examination Office and student workstations will also be located here. The second to fifth floors, around the light-flooded atrium, will contain labs along the west side, wet experiment labs along the east side and offices at the front. Metal-free cleanroom labs will be set up on the sixth floor and the top floor will hold technical equipment. A photovoltaic system will be installed on the roof.

The two-storey Geotechnikum will be directly connected to the plinth of the institute building and will encompass 860 square metres of usable space. For meso-scale experiments, the experimental hall will have two constant thermal zones, an experimental pit (6m x 3m x 3m), a span field and an X-ray chamber.


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Visualisation of the new building for Geosciences.
Graphic: Nickl & Partner

Visualisation of the new building for Geosciences.

Information about the new building

  • Developer: The Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein
  • Client representation: Gebäudemanagement Schleswig-Holstein AöR
  • Architect: Nickl & Partner
  • Construction costs: €46.9 million plus €9.4 million for the Geotechnikum
  • Total costs: €75.5 million (incl. additional building costs and CAU investments)
  • Start of construction: October 2018
  • Ready for use: provisionally the spring of 2023
  • Number of storeys: nine (incl. technical equipment storey and basement)
  • Usable space: 7,100 square metres (plus 860 square metres for the Geotechnikum)

More about the new building


Barbara Müller
Gebäudemanagement Schleswig-Holstein AöR


Claudia Eulitz
Head of Press, Digital and Science Communication



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