Workshop for the future – new construction of the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences
The HRW sees itself as a modern university of the region, for the region. As part of the city development plan, the newly opened campus in Mülheim an der Ruhr is an important building block for the whole environment of the university. Together with the development of the HRW campus in Bottrop, the campus in the Mülheim an der Ruhr location is one of the showcase projects of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
With a gross surface area of 62,500 square metres, it has the size of a separate urban district. It is not the only campus that has developed as a new educational location in Germany in the last few years, but it is one of the few that has been realised on this scale. The planning team of HPP and ASTOC architects and planners could win through in an international competition and realise this enormous project together by 2016. It was a special task that incorporated a complex campus facility consisting of four institutional buildings, three special buildings – a library, a lecture theatre centre and a refectory – as well as a multi-storey car park and extensive outdoor facilities. The different heights of the buildings were strictly governed by the heights of the buildings in adjoining districts and opens up towards them in urban terms. Not only should the campus represent a new education centre in Mülheim an der Ruhr, it should also act as an inspiration to the surrounding areas. So, already at the planning stage, care was taken to ensure that the open spaces that developed were easily accessible to the neighbourhood and usable at all times.
The Campus Library
If you enter the campus premises from Duisburger Straße, you arrive at its heart straight away, the Campus Library, set as a solitary building. Its varied façade with its contrasting clinker brick and red panels juxtaposes itself playfully with the surrounding buildings. It appears as a peaceful centre that complements each of its surrounding buildings and acts as a point of orientation. The neighbouring institutional buildings, the refectory, the lecture theatre building as well as the multi-storey car park then take on a subordinate role. But, in the intervening spaces, they create bright squares and communicative zones for people to linger or meet each other.
Horizontally opening windows leave their mark on the façades and highlight the technical aspiration and character of the university. The materials – the clinker, the red-coloured façade elements and their technical appearance – have been consciously chosen by the planners. The materials form the unifying element that carries through the campus. The work on the interior of the buildings has consciously been done in restrained materials with a technical character, such as exposed concrete, to emphasize the workshop-like character of the courses of study. The electrical installations from JUNG, in the classical LS 990 design in pure white and restrained light grey support this appearance. A wide variety of applications are possible thanks to its wide range of functions. Thus, architecturally demanding visions can be consistently put into practice. The surface-mounted WG 800 range from JUNG is splash-proof and weatherproof. It can also be labelled and made to light up.
Another jewel went into operation on the campus with the opening of the refectory in October 2016. The ten-metre unsupported projection over the main entrance to the dining hall of this two-storey refectory building is both an inviting gesture and creates a protected entrance area at the same time. The striking reinforced concrete girder construction that makes this projection possible is also visible on the window surfaces from outside as a deliberately deployed design element.
The technical focus of the university also means that great importance is attached to climate compatibility and utility engineering in the realisation of the buildings.