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.
New V and W Buildings in Wuppertal, Germany by slapa oberholz pszczulny I architekten
April 26th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: slapa oberholz pszczulny I architekten
The new buildings that now house the University of Wuppertal’s chemistry, biology and engineering sciences departments have created a new architectural focus on its Grifflenberg Campus. The building complex, designed by slapa oberholz pszczulny | sop architekten, provides a landmark entrance to the campus’ central institutional buildings, which lie grouped along the central avenue of the campus.
The architecture of the new build, which is divided into two structures, follows the challenging topography of the site and its 20-metre height differential. Both structures project from a basement level built into the slope to the south, creating a contrasting ensemble that is visible from some distance.
The two buildings, home to the university’s natural scientists and engineers respectively, are linked by a transparent main entrance, set back from the rest of the façade to open up a spacious forecourt that serves as a meeting point and recreational area for the whole campus.
Unlike the delicate post-and-beam façade of the entrance area, the rest of the building complex is characterised by a uniform façade of horizontal bands made of white HPL. The contrasting, asymmetrically arranged windows, which continue into both interior courtyards, are supplemented by additional skylights.
The main entrance, used by all the departments, provides atmospheric views of the surrounding woodland and creates a number of synergies thanks to shared features such as the main access route, central foyer and individual seminar rooms. The specialist departments, arranged in a ring shape through both parts of the building, have a flexible floor plan that allows the reorganisation of individual spaces in a simple and cost-effective manner.
The newly created, paved forecourt contains cube-shaped seats and lighting elements. The more formally defined open spaces in the two interior courtyards with their water features and grassed areas have an artificial character, providing a contrast with the surrounding countryside.
The design for the new V and W Buildings was the winner of a 2011 design competition. The realisation of this project, on which sop architekten were also responsible for overall planning, marks the end of the master planning exercise for the University of Wuppertal’s main site.
About sop architekten
For nearly 30 years, architects J.M. Slapa, H. Oberholz and Z. Pszczulny have been developing and realising joint projects for administrative, commercial, industrial and residential purposes, including airports and sports stadiums. Based in Düsseldorf with some 90 employees, the international architecture firm of sop architekten is committed to a clear and timeless architectural language as well as a holistic approach to their constructions, down to the last detail. This includes urban planning analyses as well as the revitalisation of existing properties, professional execution planning and construction management, sophisticated interior design or taking the lead in sustainable construction.