June 29, 2004 | Press Release

"Architectural enrichment for the city"
Henning Larsen awarded the Rostock Architecture Prize for the new building of the Max Planck Institute

The Danish architect Henning Larsen has been awarded the Rostock Architecture Prize on June 26, 2004 for having designed the new building of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. "The institute building enriches Rostock in terms of architecture and town-planning," says the chair of the jury, Claus Kurzweg. "The building is unobtrusive, its natural presentation and formal language are enchanting."

The jury consisted of seven members, including the town architect Christoph Weinhold. The jury praised the clear structure of the building, which makes for transparency of its different functions. Closed constructions on the one hand and the bridge construction, transparency and the use of light on the other build up tension between the various components of the building. Another aspect that the jury highlighted was the choice of building materials; only a few were used and their harmonious coexistence contributes to the high overall quality of the building. The jury also complimented the building's alignment towards the River Warnow while still maintaining a conceptual design visible from all directions.

The competition, held by the Rostock Chamber of Architects, formed part of the Day of Architecture, which was organized by the regional Chamber of Architects of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern within the framework of a federal-wide initiative that took place during the last weekend of June. The jury appraised a total of 16 buildings in Rostock, Bad Doberan, and the surrounding area; all of which were open to the public. Visitors to the Institute took the opportunity to view the building and engage in shoptalk during a guided tour.

  • Conceptual design visible from all directions: The building of the Max Planck Institute on the former shipyard area.
    Photograph: Peter Wilhelm
  • Day of Architecture 2004: Guided tour through the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.
    Photograph: Nadja Milewski
  • Tensions in architecture: Closed components, bridge constructions, transparency, and use of light
    Photographs: Peter Wilhelm


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.