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Applying the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences model

Interdisciplinary orientation

Teaching in Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences' new building is due to start in the winter semester 2013/2014.

The new Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences building will have an effective area of about 31,500 square metres. The overall construction cost of some 180 million euros will be financed under the State of North Rhine-Westphalia’s college modernisation programme.

Openness and transparency
The openness and transparency of the building promote communication and interdisciplinary cooperation. This is achieved by means of adaptable work areas and use of space, inner courtyards bathed in light, and research and laboratory units that are open to view.

A total of 16 lecture halls are arranged along the 200 m long thoroughfare. The main lecture hall seats 450 people. A side entrance with a foyer allows the main lecture hall and conference area to be used independently from other teaching activities. The thoroughfare is also an ideal exhibition area. The University of Applied Sciences is thus opening its doors to external exhibitors as well. A central information desk in the entrance area is the first point of contact for visitors.

Small groups
The departments are housed on the upper floors. Here there are seminar rooms for use by the small groups that typify the way most of the teaching is done at the University of Applied Sciences. Students can work on their own in the open communications spaces and at the study centre, with plenty of scope for interdisciplinary exchanges.

Teaching with a practical slant
At Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, theoretical science and practical application go hand in hand. This interlinking is especially apparent in some areas: the experimental building has space for large machinery and appliances and is open to view from the main thoroughfare. The theatre space is a venue for both teaching and arts events. A special laboratory for school pupils allows children and young people to try out their experimental skills and get an introduction to the MINT subjects (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Technology).

New university library with 170,000 media
The university library is an important innovation for Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, bringing several specialist libraries together for the first time. Adjoining the new library is a modern study centre with space for group and individual study.

The inner man and woman
The cafeteria with outdoor seating and the two café bars provide snacks and refreshments. At lunchtime the new joint canteen serving the University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bielefeld is available in the new university building some 300 metres away. Up to 7,500 meals per day will be served there from autumn 2013.

Building
The whole building has been designed to be barrier-free. Layout and use requirements were subject to criteria of economy and efficiency; the management quality and cost were examined in detail. Intelligent building services take account of energy optimisation issues. An underground car park with about 1,050 spaces will be built in accordance with town planning regulations.

Façade
The panelled façade covers the shell of the building like an abstract pattern without placing special emphasis on the uses or the storeys behind it. This is achieved by randomly alternating transparent and opaque coloured façade panels in seven different shades. The arrangement of the panels is designed around an electroencephalogram (EEG), a graphical representation of the electrical activity of brain), which has been reproduced on the façade.

Geothermal efficiency
Campus Bielefeld is also the site of one of the biggest geothermal plants in Germany. The geothermal principle uses the earth's heat to heat the building in winter and cool it in summer. 406 of the 800 piles supporting the University of Applied Sciences have been converted into heat exchangers with the aid of embedded polyethylene pipes. Water flows through them into the earth where it is heated or cooled according to the season before being pumped through coiled pipes in the ceilings and walls of the building. In this way 1 kWh of energy to run the heat pump produces up to 4.5 kWh of heat.

Competition to choose main planner

The competition launched by Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW, Bielefeld branch, in June 2008 to choose the main planner concluded with the panel's decision on 16 March 2009. Eighteen contenders were shortlisted for the role of main planner in an EU-wide selection procedure.

The panel’s vote was unanimous. The new Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences building is being planned by the firm of Auer+Weber+Assoziierte GmbH, Stuttgart/Munich. The overall project controller is Ernst & Young Real Estate GmbH, Düsseldorf. Project management is the responsibility of the Bielefeld branch of BLB NRW.

Panel of judges
The panel of judges sat in closed sessions on 13 and 14 January 2009 and took its decision on 16 March 2009. The members were:

  • Prof. Carl Fingerhuth, Zurich (CH)
  • Prof. Christl Drey, Kassel
  • Prof. Klaus Daniels, Munich
  • Prof. Manfred Hegger, Kassel, represented by Gesine Weinmiller, Berlin
  • Prof. Ivan Reimann, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidt, Stuttgart
  • Heinrich Micus, Branch Manager, BLB NRW Bielefeld
  • Heiner Sommer, BLB NRW/Düsseldorf Head Office
  • Gregor Moss, official, Building/Planning Department, Bielefeld City Council
  • Dieter Grömling, Munich
  • Eberhard David, Mayor of Bielefeld (CDU)
  • Ferdinand Tiggemann, former Manager, BLB NRW/Düsseldorf Head Office
  • Dankfried Köttig, BLB NRW/Düsseldorf Head Office
  • Dr. Karoline Friemann, Ministry of Construction and Transport, State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Michael Hoppe, Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology (MIWFT), State of NRW
  • Prof. Dr. Beate Rennen-Allhoff, Principal, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Dieter Timmermann, Rector, University of Bielefeld, represented by Hans-Jürgen Simm, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bielefeld
  • Hans-Georg Fortmeier, SPD parliamentary party, Bielefeld
  • Ralf C. Nettelstroth, CDU parliamentary party, Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Riemenschneider, Münster, represented by Gehsa Schnier, Vice-President in charge of Business and Personnel Management, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences

Town planning competition
The main competition for Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences was preceded by a town-planning competition to develop a new Campus Bielefeld. That competition created the basis for the ensuing development plan process which secured the right to build on Campus North.

The panel announced the winner of the town-planning competition on 22 June 2007. Town planners/architects Döll - Atelier voor Bouwkunst b.v., Rotterdam, Netherlands, and GTL Gnüchtel Triebswetter Landschaftsarchitekten, Kassel, beat four other teams in this open competition. The cooperative nature of the competition also allowed the public to be closely involved in the planning process.

Facts and figures

Start of planningMay 2009
Start of constructionNovember 2010
Laying of foundation stone1 April 2011
Topping-out ceremony17 April 2012
Moving-in dateSummer 2013
Teaching startsWinter semester 2013/2014
Main effective area31,500 square metres
ClientBau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW Bielefeld
Main plannerBüro Auer+Weber+Assoziierte GmbH, Stuttgart/Munich
Overall project controlErnst & Young Real Estate GmbH, Düsseldorf
Total construction cost180 million euros
FinancingFunded under the State of NRW's university + college modernisation programme
Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences symbolises modern, practical student education and training in a spirit of partnership.