The lecture hall building of the University for Mining and Metallurgy of Leoben was planned and constructed in the early 1970s altogether in line with modernistic and functionalistic architectural thinking. It is part of a building complex consisting of several faculty buildings, workshops and laboratories organised along an access tract and connected with existing buildings from the 19th century but otherwise insensitive to the urban context. Besides the thermal improvement and adaption of building services a fundamental functional rearrangement of the building was necessary, since the University organises a large number of high-profile symposia and conferences as a result of its research activities which was leading to conflicts with everyday university operations. Moreover, we were interested in the unresolved urban planning situation. We decided to respond to both problem areas with a new, vaulted layer of construction facing the public area. This new curved building responds to the flow of the street and the prominent location of the complex at an important roundabout. From a functional point of view, the new building takes on the task of either separating or connecting processes within the complex as required. It is now possible to stage presentations and receptions independently from everyday university business - normal lecturing in the two smaller halls runs independently. When not booked for events the additional areas have become an attractive lounge area for students. New useable areas were also created on the ground floor – an additional lecture hall and new seminar rooms.
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