In 1929, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG) founded Harnack House to provide guest accommodation for foreign scientists and as a meeting venue for the Dahlem-based Institutes. The KWG sought donations for the building’s interior furnishings. Many major companies saw research as a driver of innovation and contributed generously. However, private individuals from Germany and abroad also donated. A total of 1.3 million Marks was raised, equivalent to around 4 million euros today (2014 values).
The opening of the venue in May 1929 created a new service facility for the Dahlem research campus and its seven Institutes.