BIMSB construction site handed over

What seems to be only a small step in a construction project marks a giant leap for the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB): The piece of land for the new 7-story building for the BIMSB on the central historical campus of the Humboldt University was handed over to the MDC officially on Monday, November 17., and construction works, such as ground testing and preparations for the excavations started immediately. The completion of the building is scheduled for 2018.

The MDC's interim head Thomas Sommer and BIMSB coordinator Nikolaus Rajewsky at the construction site of the BIMSB. Photograph: Niels Bohn/MDC

Building something big at the very heart of Berlin is never easy, but a project that involves the Senate of Berlin, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Berlin's Historic Monuments Protection Authority, a university and a state-funded Helmholtz institute may cause moments of hesitation. However, all parties involved supported professionally and enthusiastically the planning phase, so that the MDC can start now. „I am really glad that the plans of the architects around Volker Staab can now be realized, to allow more collaborative research to flourish“, said Nikolaus Rajewsky, scientific coordinator of the BIMSB. He initiated the BIMSB at the MDC in 2008.

The new building will offer lab space for up to 25 research groups, approximately half experimental and half computational, providing 5,400 square meters of laboratory and office space. The building supports high-tech-labs, flexible workspaces and communication areas, which are all essential for the innovative and interdisciplinary work at the BIMSB. The total costs will amount to 33,5 million Euros for the building and 6 million Euros for scientific equipment, the annual budget of the groups there will be 20 million Euros (90 per cent of which is covered by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research). BIMSB coordinator Nikolaus Rajewsky and the head of the MDC’s construction department, Ralf Streckwall, emphasize the role of Niels Bohn who coordinated the project for the MDC until now.

The BIMSB not only constitutes an important strategic extension of the MDC’s scientific profile but is strongly connected with the developments of the life sciences in Berlin: it is an essential element of the Integrative Research Institute Life Sciences (IRI LS) in liason with the Humboldt University and the Charité Berlin. The IRI LS plays an important role in the strategic concept that earned the excellence title for the Humboldt University.

Featured Image: The illustration shows how the new BIMSB building will look after completion in 2018. Photo: Staab architects for the MDC