University of Mannheim’s Research and Teaching Building / wulf architekten

University of Mannheim’s Research and Teaching Building / wulf architekten

© Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe + 17

University  · 
Mannheim, Germany
  • Competition team

    Berit Jennrich, Yeon Yung Choi, Aleksandar Kableshkov
  • Planning team

    Sonja Schmuker (PL), Katharina Heß, Markus Burger
  • Construction management

    Alber & Schulze Baumanagement GmbH
  • Structural engineering

    Werner Sobek Group GmbH
  • Heating and Sanitary planning

    Schmitt & Partner GmbH
  • Ventilation planning

    Planungsbüro Schmitt
  • Electrical planning

    Schneider Beratende Ingenieure
  • Building physics

    Ingenieurgesellschaft Hüttinger
  • Landscape architect

  • Client

    Land of Baden-Wuerttemberg, represented by Baden-Wuerttemberg State Office of Property and Construction
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© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

Text description provided by the architects. The new construction of the research and teaching building is located on the city square B6 in the centre of Mannheim. The angular form of the house is derived from the restoration of the strict block structure, which is the landmark in the city of Mannheim. The main access points have an important urban integration: The main entrance to the new building is located on the street. The entrance area though is designed as a passage to the interior of the block, so that an equal access results also from there. While the block edge is formed by a relatively narrow building structure, the components oriented towards the block interior get a greater building depth in order to arrange special uses such as seminar rooms and group work rooms.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

As an appropriate attitude towards the historically shaped environment with the baroque Jesuit church and the baroque palace Mannheim the façade has a subtly-clear and calm look. It consists of a modular assembled square structure coloured light beige, sandblasted concrete elements that repeatedly frame the almost square windows as a creative fundamental theme. The horizontal shadows on the upper window surround caused by the sunlight correspond with the two horizontal, dark anodised aluminium window sill plates on the lower window surround. Therefore, the effect of the plastically recessed, homogeneous façade relief is enhanced. Its clear presence in urban space underlines the public character of the research and teaching building.

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

The interior spaces of the new building consist mainly of flexibly usable seminar and office areas, student workplaces as well as spacious communication areas, which are crucial for the stimulating atmosphere of learning and research. In order to provide the seminar areas with as much daylight as possible, additional airspaces were provided, which make the openness and spatial generosity of the floor plan tangible. Vertical visual connections across the floors link the student workplaces.

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

In addition, both the seminar and office rooms have oak doors that have been supplemented with glass side panels to enhance the visual connection in the corridors. The inside and the outside are also closely related in dimensioning: The width of the door elements in the office rooms corresponds exactly to the width of the square window elements in the façade.

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

In line with the doors, the built-in closets of the office and seminar rooms were made of oak wood. While a dark grey linoleum floor has been laid throughout these areas, light grey cement tiles are found in the central, large staircase, which are designed with a geometric pattern. The spaciously designed, three-flight staircase refers back to the well-known, baroque presentation of the stairways.

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

The research and teaching building is the first of several construction phases that redefine the city square B6. Due to the planned urban reorganisation of the A5 square, exists now the opportunity to develop a special campus atmosphere on the outskirts of the city grid in the surroundings of the castle and the astronomical observatory as "free space for excellent research".

© Roland Halbe
© Roland Halbe

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Project location

Address: B6 30, 68159 Mannheim, Germany

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "University of Mannheim’s Research and Teaching Building / wulf architekten" 25 Jan 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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