RWTH Photonics Research Cluster

Uniting several research institutions across the RWTH Aachen Campus, KPF’s master plan creates a clear and identifiable sense of place while drawing in the surrounding landscape and ensuring both physical and visual permeability of the site.

As phase one of the development’s realization, the initial building, designed by KPF, sets the architectural benchmark for the remaining cluster, with its main entrance highly visible from the adjacent boulevard. The ground floor includes a public restaurant, which highlights the entrance to the cluster and enlivens the street level.

The building was designed to encourage collaboration, integration, and efficient circulation. Open and informal workspaces are connected visually, allowing effortless navigation around all six floors. Breakout spaces promote collaboration and exchange of ideas, while interconnecting stairs within double-height spaces facilitate vertical communication and foster interdisciplinary researcher interaction.

Large scale halls and medium-sized research laboratories are located at the ground and first floors, with all other functions arranged above and around a central atrium, which forms the visual center of activity. The floor plate can easily extend horizontally and vertically to accommodate tenants of different sizes. The top floors include some double height spaces and conference facilities, which offer spectacular views across the campus.


Aachen, Germany




Höhler + Partner (Associate Architect)


Education, Office, Planning + Urban Design, Research + Healthcare


7,000 m2 / 75,400 ft2

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Project Type:Research + Healthcare
Project Location:Europe