Architect: TOPOTEK 1

Image: HGEsch, Dyckerhoff

Sculpted landscape

Emanuel Merck Square, Germany

Merck is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world. It’s headquarters in Darmstadt has been progressively remodelled from a production works into a technology and science campus. At the heart of this transformation is the Innovation Centre.

The main buildings of the new innovation centre are set back from Frankfurter Straße, providing the opportunity for the creation of a public square – Emanuel Merck Platz (named after the founder of Merck).

The landscaped square undulates across its 3,000 m2 of white concrete reflecting the internal spaces of the innovation centre. The interior of which is characterised by the unfolding of a continuously flowing spatial structure. Bridge-like connections diagonally span the space between oval cores, linking the individual workspaces with each other.

The square is intended to serve as a public forum so high demands were set for the landscape architects in the quality of finish that was required.

Sculptured planting islands and a brilliant white finish provide the desired aesthetics. The concrete was ground and mixed on-site and the profile refined to create an undulating space. Due to the importance of retaining the brilliant white aesthetic for the concrete, an absolute requirement of no staining from the concrete reinforcement was of utmost importance. In order to achieve this, the outer layer of the reinforcement was hot dip galvanized.

The double curves around the planting beds were moulded and finished by hand. The attention to detail in obtaining the final finish was further emphasised in other areas in which a four-stage sanding process was deployed.

A final protective coating has been applied to the concrete to avoid scuffing from visitors and dirt landing on the concrete.

Request a Free Copy of the Hot Dip Galvanizing Magazine

Architect: TOPOTEK 1

Image: HGEsch, Dyckerhoff

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Galvanizers Association

Read next…

15 Clerkenwell Close, London

Using self-finished structural materials, carved and fallen columns, revealed cloisters and mosaic floors, 15 Clerkenwell Close, alludes to a local physical and social archaeology but also raises questions on architectural heritage and its integration within a broader culture. The residential…

Read more


Recently unveiled in Potsdam in November 2018, the bauhausTWINS installation marks the beginning of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement in 2019. The installation will travel to Central and Eastern Europe as an ambassador of the Goethe-Institut. The Goethe…

Read more

Die Tageszeitung Headquarters, Germany

A galvanized net envelops the new headquarters building for the renowned taz newspaper, Die Tageszeitung, in Berlin’s new media quarters next to Bessel Park. The false façade forms an additional space that blurs the boundaries between the interior and exterior,…

Read more

Hardelot Theatre, France

The Elizabethan theatre of the Château d’Hardelot – on the Cote d’Opale near Calais – is France’s first permanent neo-Shakespearean theatre, its first naturally-ventilated complex arts building and the world’s first all-curved, exposed CLT building. It is also France’s first…

Read more