The buildings of the new Gummersbach Campus of Cologne University of Applied Sciences extend the existing development structure of the adjoining former Steinmüller Site in a north-south direction. Together with the outdoor installations, the new buildings react to the topographic height differences. With its clear southward orientation the university forms the access to the city and defines a new entrance situation for the City of Gummersbach.
Depending on the degree of their public effect and structural requirements, the different university functions are distributed over two buildings, which differ regarding their construction and design. The main building is structured on an H-shaped floor plan. It accommodates seminar rooms in the eastern wing, whilst the departments with their laboratories and professors’ offices, which are less frequented by students, are located in the elongated western section. The generous staircase in the connecting entrance hall refers to the height difference of the terrain. The result is a transparent foyer, which is accessible from the north and from the south on different levels, and which acts as an inviting central meeting point for communication and exchange. Towards the sloping terrain in the south, both building wings are elevated and supported by columns, thereby emphasising the access to the campus. Here is the square central building accommodating lecture halls, cafeteria and library. With the option to host external cultural events in the evenings and on weekends, the building succeeds to achieve not just a visual but also a content-related connection between the university and the City of Gummersbach. The library on the upper floor with books visible from the outside clearly illustrates the establishment of a university within the urban context of the new campus.
Between the central building and the staggered bar-like sections of the institute building, an entrance square with trees opens up eastwards towards the railway station. This square provides access to all buildings. The central building has a second entrance at the southern forecourt.