European Southern Observatory (ESO) Headquarters

The headquarters of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) was built between 1976 and 1980. In 2008, Munich-based architects Auer Weber were appointed to extend the complex with office and conference facilities, plus a technical building for ESO’s most advanced instruments.

The extension has been designed to be in keeping and to respect with the original building. Both new buildings have been labelled green buildings as their energy consumption will be significantly lower than is typical for buildings of this size. This is due to the well-insulated façade and because the office building is heated and cooled through concrete core activation — for which groundwater is used together with a heat pump — and supported with district heating using geothermally heated water, in case the groundwater system would not supply the required amount of energy.

Where: Garching bei München, Germany

Year of completion: 2013 (renovation)

Architect/Design: Auer Weber, Munich

Implementation: BAM Deutschland

Photo: Roland Halbe