3XN just won the first prize in the international competition for their design of the new building for the technical faculty of the German university Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW). With their vision to create an open, inspiring and social learning environment, the building is to be a lighthouse project for academic learning - an innovative and productive learning environment in which students, teachers and industry representatives can meet. More images and architects' description after the break.
Transparency and communication have been key concepts in 3XN's winning project, which is designed as a "vertical campus" to support the university's goals of self-awareness, innovation, functionality and profitability. The future-oriented faculty building symbiotically gathers a number of institutions that until now have been scattered around Stuttgart.
The building is located close to Stuttgart city center in an area characterized by a variety of universities and educational institutions, residential buildings and green spaces, giving potential for the building to support a rich and active urban life. The building enhances this potential by leaving room for new urban spaces in the form of three squares, which e.g. will allow the university café to have an outdoor dining area.
The pentagonal building has an open and transparent facade divided into a number of horizontal bands, which have been split thus marking the main entrances and producing cantilevers and both open and covered terrace. This feature gives the building identity and a sculptural expression.
The central atrium in the building’s core has a number of functions: it is a social meeting place, which also ease orientation and wayfinding for the building’s users and visitors. Along with the spiral staircase that goes all the way to the top floor, the atrium further creates vertical communication between all levels and functions. An important element for social interaction is the "bridge" - a connecting element for all three main entrances, which because of its central location also can be used as a general passage.
The room division of the individual floors is designed in order to ensure that each room has as many applications as possible and can be used across the various disciplines being taught. Several spaces facing the atrium have been left open to ensure informal and social meeting spaces.