Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The ”Auszeichnung guter Bauten“ of the BDA OWL in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia by Gerber Architekten
October 29th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Gerber Architekten
“Using the simplest means, a contemporary, high-quality new element of the university campus in Paderborn has been created, which makes its impact through the blood-red colouring of the foyer hall“ – with these words, Karin Kellner (architect and jury member) closed her laudation for the Auditorium and Seminar Building of the University of Paderborn, designed, planned and constructed by Gerber Architekten. On 27th of October, the project was honoured with the BDA Award Ostwestfalen-Lippe in the course of an award ceremony and exhibition opening.
The ”Auszeichnung guter Bauten“ of the BDA OWL is awarded every three years for outstanding architectural projects which have sharpened public sensibility for quality of planning and construction and have set standards of quality in contemporary architecture. The jury, consisting of architects, journalists and curators, including Professor Rainer Hascher and Professor Dr. Falk Jaeger, assessed the urban context, design quality, construction and choice of materials as well as the environmental performance of the 40 nominated projects and selected two winners and seven special mentions. In addition to Gerber Architekten, the Pöstenhof communal housing project in Lemgo by h.s.d. architekten also received an award. The exhibition with all the winning projects can be seen until 21th of November 2014 in the foyer of the Technisches Dienstleistungszentrum in Bielefeld.
The cubic structure of the new four-storey building stands in a highly visible position, situated in a natural way on the street corner and thereby marking the termination of the heterogeneous university campus. The building is designed for 1200 students and includes two auditoriums with side galleries and 400 seats each, and also three large and two smaller seminar rooms.
The section of the building is developed to follow the existing topography of the area and also to follow functional and technical requirements. Using the natural slope, a stairway extends from inside to the outside, forming two foyer levels. At each level an open staircase and bridges connect the three large and two smaller seminar rooms. The upper level is intended for exhibition and event uses, while the lower level accommodates all other functions. Additional working spaces for students are provided in the corridors. The impressive foyer contains just one staircase and connects the auditoriums to the seminar rooms by bridges. Above the large glazed opening, small window strips bring daylight into the auditoria. The glazed roof provides additional daylight and formally and constructively separates the auditoria from the seminar units. The transparency of the foyer allows inside and outside views between the foyer and the campus and its bright red accentuation attracts attention of passers-by, especially after dark.
The building envelope consists of large format, charcoal coloured fibre cement tiles, which are fixed in a concealed way to hanging brackets so that a homogenous design image is preserved. The south-east façade has only small slits for ventilation. In contrast, the north-west elevation features a glazed curtain walling system which provides generous natural light for the seminar rooms and offices. A link bridge connects the building to the adjoining existing building. The colouring of the facade is carried through to the floors inside. The dark floor surface ensures a calm ambience, which allows concentrated teaching and learning.
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