HKI - Hans Knöll Institute, Jena
The building complex of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, constructed in the 1950s, was extended in September 2012 with an unusual new institute building. A special feature is the basic organic form of the two buildings, which are symbolic of the research content of the institute.
The Munich architects Beeg Lemke designed flexible work rooms and laboratories on three levels with a total area of 2,500 square meters. The new building is completed by a two-storey, generously glazed pavilion, which offers a view of the Saale valley. The seminar rooms for scientific events located there enable the HKI to cooperate intensively with the surrounding universities.
With the guidance and orientation system, Klaus Hübner, Studio KW . Kommunikationsdesign has developed a comprehensive and unifying design and communication concept for the Hans Knöll Institute (HKI) campus, which not only fulfils functional, technical and aesthetic criteria, but also communicates a uniform modern appearance to the outside world. In addition to providing information and orientation, the system also plays an image-building role.
Meng realized the guidance system as a custom-made product in 2016. All elements form a product family. It comprises different categories of information and elements, which are coordinated in design and format to form a unit.
Inside the building, wall signs are mainly used, while outside, free-standing steles are more common.
The visual concept of the guidance and orientation system is strongly related to the individual forms of the HKI logo, which symbolizes the main research areas of the institute. The HKI is concerned with microorganisms, which are divided into the large groups of bacteria and fungi. On the one hand, they are a source of new active ingredients, on the basis of which new drugs are developed. On the other hand, numerous microorganisms are responsible for triggering infectious diseases. At the HKI, the molecular mechanisms of disease development are being researched in order to find new starting points for a better diagnosis and therapy of infections.
If bacteria or fungi are transferred to solid culture media with the help of an inoculation loop, spreading cultures develop along the so-called inoculation track within a short time. The shape of the letters HKI in the logo corresponds to a typical bacterial vaccination track. For the guidance and orientation system, these shapes have now been translated into three dimensions and thus form the basis of the product design of the free-standing steles in the outdoor space.
A display font developed especially for the HKI is also based on these shapes of an inoculation track. This font is mainly used for building identification, floor marking or arrows. This gives the system its very individual, unique character.