Embedded in the stunning hilly landscape, the design for this university is based on the dialogue between architecture and nature. Gerber Architekten won the competition in 2004. Two L-shaped buildings enclose a rectangular, open courtyard where a wide staircase provides access into the building complex. The elevation on the south side of the building offers wide open views far into the valley as well as a unique experience of converging interior and exterior spaces, creating an attractive environment for teaching and research, communication and creativity.
The elevated wing holds more elaborate lecture halls while the second four-story wing – with its smaller-scale structure – is reserved for tutoring and seminar rooms as well as faculty offices. An oversailing roof, supported by columns over three storeys tall, extends far beyond the seminar building, designating the area as the main entrance to the university.
Both building wings are linked via an open courtyard providing level access. The building shape is conceived as a folded and closed building band. In contrast the facing walls are glazed and protected from the sun by external solar shading naturally ventilated with openable windows.
The external walls are constructed as high quality visual concrete, comprising core insulation, precast concrete as well as in-situ concrete. Light coloured sand from the river Main was used in the concrete mix and this was wholeheartedly welcomed by building users as a local reference.
The roof is designed as an extensive green roof and will soon be equipped in short term with photovoltaic systems.