Insitute for Hygiene and Microbiology

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The building of the Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology is located in Steglitz, in southern Berlin and is a part of the Free University.

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Free University was founded after World War II by the US in Berlin, in the American Sector. In the beginning the institute for hygiene was scattered around various university buildings, but as the popularity of the course, as well as money flowing from the US became larger, the administration decided to erect the institute a dedicated building. The first plans started in the 1960’s.

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The project was designed by the Berlin architecture firm Fehling und Gogel, with close cooperation from the Free University staff. The building was opened in 1974 and performs its original function still today. The building itself lasted about 8 years and cost 50 million Euro in today’s money, which was twice as much as comparable buildings. This was explained by unprecedented complexity of the required installations.

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Despite of the large costs connected to the building, surely none of it was spent on finishing and ornamentation. The style of the building has to be described as brutalist, with its concrete walls, naked structural elements and raw functionality taking precedent over the form, but also maintains elements of expressionism, exposing sweeping curves, monumental towers and pointed corners.

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There is very little color or variety in the building’s structure, making it very cold and uninviting in its outlook. This of course is a form of beauty, in that it creates a profound esthetic effect. If however you ar a patient of the institute, such conditions may not influence your healing prospects positively.

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