Text description provided by the architects. The Center of Mathematics at the University of Karlsruhe was built in 1964 and needed to be refurbished both architecturally and energetically. Located close to the historic center and due to its location on the edge of the university campus the building works as “showcase” of the university to the city. The rectangular, five-storey building encloses an elevated mezzanine patio, open to the east and west on ground floor.
The refurbishment and extension of the building focuses primarily on the exchange of contaminated components such as PCB-contaminated blankets, system walls with formaldehyde and spandrel panels made of asbestos. The house has gotten a new facade with significantly improved thermal insulation and energy efficient building services. The use of daylight was improved and the building is passively air-conditioned. To expand the usable area to 2.200 m², a recessed mezzanine was topped. The new roof is a lightweight steel structure; the courtyard is covered with a light foil. It works as a heat buffer which minimizes energy loss in the winter and creates a a pleasant, cool climate in the summer.
On ground floor all public areas of the faculty are accommodated – such as tutorial and seminar rooms, group work areas, cafeteria and the faculty library. In addition to office space for the institutes there are also located seminar and meeting rooms and project areas in the upper floors. Whereas in the basement seminar rooms, PC pools and a part of the faculty library are provided. The concept of the building pursues to improve communication. It combines art and architecture. Max Bill's „family of five hemispheres“ was cleaned during the construction phase and integrated harmoniously after the completion.