Text description provided by the architects. The new building for the innovation and start-up centre „Science Park Kassel“ is an essential part of the new north campus of Kassel University. It functions as a forum for the exchange between science and business and aims at supporting start-up companies launching their ideas in the market.
The new four-storey building provides 6,200m² floor space for workstations in offices and labs; shop floors; studios and a central cafeteria with an adjacent seminar and conference area. Another essential part of the spatial arrangement are the IdeaLab and the CoWorking area. These form the core which acts as instigator and as a place for inspiration for the new Science Park.
The north campus footprint defined in the masterplan resembles the shape of a Pretzel with its seven corners and two inner court yards. The new building levels out the height difference between the campus plateau and the parking level at the River Ahne.
An open staircase in the inner court yard to the the south-west enables visitors to experience the one storey offset and offers additional space for outdoor events and courses. This “public” yard is situated close to foyer, cafeteria and conference rooms. The inner court yard to the north allows for natural lighting and ventilation of the plinth level. In summertime the adjacent shop floors and offices can be expanded into the yard.
The Science Park entrance is located to the south-west, on the campus side. It is clearly marked by a recess into the ground floor. In the heart of it the foyer provides short paths and access to all central facilities of the start-up centre.
Four access cores, flooded with daylight, offer views to the surroundings and link the building in a vertical direction, while a gallery provides horizontal access to the offices. Every floor features spacious and bright communication areas for informal meetings and breaks.