Ruhr-University Bochum

Projectinformation – Interior Design

The floor plans for the high-rise building’s standard storeys have a classic three-part structure, with offices and seminar rooms located in the outer area and with a supply and access structure plus enclosed discussion areas in the central zone. This arrangement allows all the permanent workspaces to be naturally lit and ventilated. The student workspaces are also located in the regular storeys, with a view of the inner courtyard and of the location’s green surroundings. Gerber Architekten wanted special student workspaces for these zones that would be pleasant, and would also offer good potential for communication and exchange in between learning events. The levels located along the main route’s staircase are laid out following the idea of a marketplace. They are a place where the people who work together every day in the IC-Complex can meet up, spend time and communicate. Within the building, there is a clear spatial separation between the two faculties – the faculty of mechanical engineering and the faculty of civil and environmental engineering. The mechanical engineering areas are largely located within the eastern low-rise structures and within the three lower levels of the high-rise structure; the civil and environmental engineering sciences rooms, on the other hand, extend into the western low-rise building and into the three upper levels of the high-rise building. The central areas – the library, the CIP stations, the faculty offices, the dean’s offices and the administration offices – are located in the core areas of the low-rise buildings, beneath the high-rise building. The interdisciplinary and heavily-frequented areas are arranged so as to adjoin the north-south main route directly. The seminar rooms and the two auditoria are used by all faculties, and are located in the southerly areas of the lowrise buildings. The new ICAMS institute is also located in this readily accessible area, and is self-evidently an autonomous “building block” in the architectural structure of the IC-Complex.

For the IC complex, two new pedestrian spines were created: the north-south main route through the IC high-rise building and the east-west main route, which interconnects the whole of the engineering complex, running from IA to ID. There is now an additional new main entrance on the north side which is linked to the existing entrance via the north-south main route. The visitor passes through the new north entrance and traverses a dramatic cascading open stair to reach the existing south entrance located two levels higher up. The inclusion of visual connections with the library – which is the heart of the building – and with the green inner courtyard enhances the spatial quality of this pedestrian spine. The east-west main route begins at the existing southern entrance of the high-rise building. It provides access to the interior, leading to the new ID building in one direction, and the IA high-rise block in the other. The new three-storey open staircases were added in the form of gallery-type glazed superimposed structures located within the courtyards. This ensures that every level of the various building sections can be reached using the main route – in spite of their differing heights. The gallery levels are intended for use as zones of communication. They are made additionally attractive as places for people to linger by the open voids, and by the direct view they command of the three inner courtyards. The inner courtyards were reconstructed by the landscape architects Georg and Rosemarie Penker, based upon the original designs. The existing materials were extensively upgraded, and were partially replaced.

Modern state-of-the-art laboratories should be flexible, adaptable and efficient in their use of space, to enable them to accommodate the specific practical demands associated with the various different disciplines. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of research in these fields, the technological faculties (mechanical engineering and civil and environmental sciences) require individual laboratories where the ambient conditions and the media interfaces can be individually adjusted for large items of equipment. The pre-existing spatial structure of the IC complex’s low-rise buildings offered the ideal preconditions for implementing laboratories geared for optimal utility. For the most part, it was possible to retain the sizes of the laboratories as they existed within the original grid. This made it possible to offer an individual use structure, without sacrificing the flexibility required for future use and conversion.

Location Bochum, Germany
Bid IC / Design IA+IB 2009 / 2012
Construction IC / IA+IB 2011–2013 / 2015–2018
GFA IC / IA+IB 52,310 m² / 64,500 m²
GV IC / IA+IB 215,950 m³ / 266,430 m³
2014 Award for good buildings 2014 (audience award)