University Library, Potsdam




Natural stone and glass combined

Potsdam-Golm has developed into the most significant research location in Brandenburg. A particularly striking building on the campus is the Information, Communication and Media Centre (IKMZ). With its facade of printed glass and dark natural stone the new building, designed by the Berlin office of Staab Architekten, is clearly set apart from its surroundings. It is almost as though a giant meteorite has landed. Apart from a few large windows in the region of the reading tables, the facade largely appears as a closed black mantle. It was implemented with the system solution, LITHO Stone, from Lithodecor. Due to its constructional flexibility and its Lithodecor sandwich panels, which are significantly lighter compared to conventional solid solutions, the special system technology of the natural stone lightweight facade, LITHO Stone, satisfies important prerequisites for the realisation of elegant facades. The natural stone panels, which are cut in different formats based on the facade grid, consist of a covering layer, eight to ten millimetres thick, of black granite of the type Angola Black Moonlight, which is adhe sively bonded in the factory to a 19 millimetre-thick lightweight concrete bearer. Polished surfaces and surfaces with a satin leather look were employed to give a nuanced appearance. Satinised and clear solar-protective glass was used for the glass panels which were also assembled. The glass and natural stone elements could be mounted in the sub structure without problem with the aid of the aluminium frames fitted on the reverse side. The standardised mounting system for the natural stone and glass materials in one plane proved to be an especially refined constructive solution. The edges of the panels and the insulation applied to the inner side were clad in black for a contiguously black facade appearance without bright joints.

Brighter and better illuminated interior spaces

In a daring contrast to the dark facade, the spacious interior of the library appears bright and well-lit. The planners chose mainly bright colours and provided accentuation through subtle design emphasised by the materials. In the foyer and in the various reading areas white painted walls and ceilings and bright floor coverings provide an homogeneous room impression. Due to the point-symmetrical construction of the building, it was also important to facilitate good orientation for the users. In contrast to the reading areas the surfaces of the cascade stairs were therefore implemented in a vibrant red and a vivid orange colour. Caparol products were used for the realisation of the colour concept. All wall and ceiling surfaces were coated with Indeko-plus interior paint. For the building components in the two stairways the planners also chose PU-Satin silk matt enamel and PU primer in exactly the same colours and gloss levels.


Information, Communication and Media Centre (IKMZ) of the University of Potsdam-Golm

Staab Architekten, Berlin

Building owner
Brandenburgischer Landesbetrieb für Liegenschaften und Bauen (Brandenburg state office for property and construction), Potsdam branch


System structure LITHO Stone

  • Curtain wall, back-ventilated facade with natural stone rough-hewn panels on lightweight concrete bearers
  • Equalisation of unevenness through flexible substructure, weather and frost resistant
  • Hidden mounting on aluminium substructure
  • Stone varieties: limestone, sandstone, slate, granite (polished, ground).
    All other types of stone and surfaces on request
  • Up to 7.7 square-metre panel size depending on raw stone format,
    up to 1 .12 square metres in overhead applications.