The majority of Freie Universität's new buildings are designed in a contemporary style and are of high architectural quality. The ambitious projects of the early days, such as the complex comprising the Henry Ford Building (1951-54) and the University Library by Gustav Müller and Franz Heinrich Sobotka (1954), and the university's Benjamin Franklin Hospital (1968) were only built thanks to generous help from the United States.
Freie Universität commissioned renowned architects, among them Wassili Luckhardt, who designed the former Veterinary Medicine teaching clinic in Koserstrasse (1968) and the Plant Physiology Institute (1970). Lord Norman Foster designed the new Philological Library (2005).
The "Rostlaube," the building complex housing the humanities and social sciences is, in its own way, according to building historians, a piece of world architecture. The new building for the humanities departments of Freie Universität Berlin was undertaken in 1967 by three notable architects: Georg Candilis, Alexis Josik, and Shadrach Woods. All three were influenced by Le Corbusier. The name “Rostlaube” (rusty cottage) comes from the material Cor-Ten steel, or weathering steel, which has controlled corrosion properties. In this case, the corrosion process of the building did not stop after two years as planned. The desired protective layer was not formed, and the steel rusted through in many places. The building complex was completely renovated and since 2006 projects a new image.
During the 1980s and 1990s, cuts in state funding made large construction projects impossible. Any new buildings had to be small and internally-financed, like the Philosophical Institute by Hinrich and Inken Baller (1982-83) or the Matriculation Office, in Iltisstrasse, by Doris and Ralph Thut (1995-96).