- Structural Analysis:Draheim Ingenieure
- Client:BLB NRW, departement Aachen
- Occupant:RWTH Aachen University
Text description provided by the architects. The classrooms and general purpose rooms in the great Audimax auditorium at the RWTH Aachen University urgently need to be renovated. Therefore, a small auditorium was built in the central campus as part of the High Education Modernization Program (HMoP). The Auditorium Centre was finished in September 2012 after two years of development and construction.
The new building stands on Professor-Pirlet-Straße in a triangular area south-west of a multi-storey car park belonging to the university. Ninety meters to the north is a mosque which can be reached by an emergency access road that runs alongside the building. The front face of the building and the street form a triangular square. In addition, a small, tree-lined area leading to Turmstraße was created. The building lies on a hillside with up to 4 meters in height variation. This and the steep slope leading down to the multi-storey car park were significant factors in the design.
The Auditorium Centre has three and half levels on the street side and four and half on the car park side. There are two entrances on the ground floor and a side entrance on the basement floor. On the ground floor there is a small café with glazed windows adjacent to the triangular square in the south along with snack and soda vending machines.
The H1 and H2 auditoriums can be accessed from the ground and first floor as well as through the lounge on the basement floor. The auditoriums face the car park and tennis courts to the northeast.
The Auditorium Centre includes two lecture halls with 722 seats altogether. On the upper floors are 5 CIP-Pools with 268 seats and one lecture room with 84 seats. The handicapped accessible building is designed for 1,074 students and 22 staff members. The CIP-Pools 1+2 and 4+5 can be interconnected via a flexible wall.
The upper floors of the building also contain a foyer, office spaces and a first-aid room as well as all comfort and operating rooms, such as restrooms, an engineering room, a ventilation control centre, etc. The foyer in the ground floor is connected to the first floor by an open staircase in addition to the emergency staircases. There is a light channel above the staircase which illuminates the staircase and lounge areas on all levels with natural light. The buildings foyers are designed to hold various exhibitions. Common and working areas for students can be found on all levels on the street side of the building. A visual dominance in comparison to the multi-storey car park is achieved by increasing the height of the right part of the building creating the necessary room for ventilation system.
The arrangement of the auditoriums and the lecture rooms can be seen in the design of the building front. The foyer has a large, vertical glass window with an exterior awning to the street side. The open front of the café and the vertical window in the lounge are a strong contrast to the closed front at the pediments that is only interrupted by a horizontal ribbon window on each side.