New Campus Architecture in Germany

Folkwang Makes a Move

#1 Folkwang Makes a Move

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The Design Faculty’s move into the “SANAA-Building” in 2010 marked the start of the university’s relocation to the “Zollverein,” a former coal mine plant and now design center and UNESCO World Heritage site. The building, named for the renowned Japanese architecture firm which designed it, has 134 precisely-placed windows that maximize light in the interior and function as frames for the outside world. The building won the Pritzker Prize, the most important global award for architects, in 2010.

Photo credit: Folkwang University of the Arts

Books, Glass, and Former Horse Stables

#2 Books, Glass, and Former Horse Stables

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When the libraries of the Faculties of Architecture and Design at the Münster University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) were merged with the collection of the neighboring Academy of Fine Arts, additional space was needed. Two MUAS architecture students took a two-and-a-half year leave of absence to work with their Professor Hebert Bühler on the design of a glass-walled extension in front of the cavalry stables that now house the library. The building was completed in 2010, and the students continue to operate an architecture firm under the name “zauberscho(e)n”.

Photo credit: Roland Borgmann, Münster

The Berlin Brain

#3 The Berlin Brain

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Roughly 650 people work at the new library at the Free University of Berlin, designed by Lord Norman Foster. The building houses roughly 700,000 books and has been nicknamed “The Berlin Brain” because of its unique shape. The 60-foot-high building won the Berlin Architecture Award in 2006 and the German Architecture Prize in 2007.

Photo credit: David Ausserhofer.

Changing Faces at RWTH Aachen

#4 Changing Faces at RWTH Aachen

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A former combined heat and power plant near the center of campus was converted to lecture halls in 2010 and is now one of the tallest buildings in the town. The façade of the former building was covered with horizontal strips of white aluminum which are placed further apart near windows in order to allow maximum natural light and views from the building. At night, orange lights cause the entire building to glow.

Photo credit: Thomas Stachelhaus,

New Building for a New University

#5 New Building for a New University

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The HafenCity University Hamburg was founded in 2006 when four departments from three universities merged to create a new institution focusing on the built environment and metropolitan development. Their main building at Magdeburger Hafen has been awarded a gold eco-label for the design created by the Code Unique architecture firm in Dresden. Since 2014 the building houses students and staff who work in the open and flexible space, which was designed to encourage communication.

Image credit: Code Unique Architekten, Dresden.

Building Completed within Twelve Months

#6 Building Completed within Twelve Months

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The new seminar building at the University of Cologne, inaugurated in 2010, houses seats for up to 900 students in the kinds of medium-sized lecture halls needed since the relatively recent introduction of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The building also includes a cafeteria with outdoor seating, reading areas, a conference room, and the offices of the General Students’ Committee (AStA). The building, designed by the Paul Böhm architecture firm was completed within 12 months and utilizes concrete, steel, glass, and wood.

Photo credit: Universität zu Köln.

Return of the Paulinium

#7 Return of the Paulinium

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The St. Pauli church, dating back to the 13th century and closely tied to the University of Leipzig since its founding in 1409, emerged from both world wars relatively unscathed, but was demolished in 1968 by order of the city authorities—then led by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. A new building, begun in 2007, will be reminiscent of the university church and house an auditorium to be used for concerts, conferences, meetings, and exhibitions, in addition to space for religious services.

Image credit: © designed by Erick van Egeraat

A Gathering Place for Students and Guests

#8 A Gathering Place for Students and Guests

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The Technische Universität Darmstadt opened “karo 5”, its new main campus building, in 2009 as an info center and meeting place for students, visitors, and local residents. The building centralized many key university services and students visit the open, modern building to get information, study, do group work, or relax. Regular exhibitions about the university are held in the spacious reception area.

Photo credit: TU Darmstadt.

Libeskind for Leuphana

#9 Libeskind for Leuphana

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The cornerstone for Leuphana Universität Lüneburg’s new central building was laid in May 2011 and the building is due to be complete in 2014. Designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, an adjunct faculty member at Leuphana, who sought out input from students for the design and was able to have lively discussions in countless seminars. The building is meant to unite aesthetics, functionality, and energy-efficiency. The building will house research facilities, lecture halls, an auditorium, and a student center.

Image credit: Leuphana.

High-Tech Lecture Halls with Natural Light

#10 High-Tech Lecture Halls with Natural Light

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The State of Hessen is investing over € 1 billion to create a new campus across three locations for the Goethe University Frankfurt, including the new main campus location at Westend. The lecture hall building, pictured here, was completed in 2008 and includes seats for up to 2,000 students in 12 main auditoriums. The most modern technology was used the building, as well as huge windows that allow daylight in every room. Clad in travertine, the building blends in with the main campus building, the historic “IG Farben Haus”.

Photo credit: Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

A Red Cube and Glass Ceiling

#11 A Red Cube and Glass Ceiling

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The new main campus building at the Hochschule Munich was inaugurated in 2007. The “Red Cube”, which houses one of the two main lecture halls, has become so iconic that its shape was incorporated into the university’s new logo. The large lobby area of the building sits under a glass roof and is in frequent use for student fairs, information sessions, exhibits, and celebrations. A cafeteria, labs, seminar rooms, offices, and workshops are all housed in the building.

Photo credit: Hochschule München.