Christian Glander

Christian Glander

University Library of RWTH Aachen. RWTH Aachen (Germany)v

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Diploma WS 07/08, Department for Structural Design

 The site of the design, located in the inner city of Aachen, is characterized by contrasts. On the one hand there are two representative, solitaire university buildings, main building and Super C, on the other one there is the Pontviertel, with its small row houses. By giving the library autonomy and completing the urbanistic block the clear, rectangular cubature of the design bridges this gap. So the forecourt of the main building and Super C is stressed and defined as the central campus. Instead of an own forecourt for the library, there is a roofed patio, from which the visitors enter the building. This patio opens up to Wüllnerstraße and Templergraben. Another entry is orientated to Pontviertel. So the library becomes an urban junction.

Openness is one of the main design criteria: The books and their useage are revealed to the public. The building consists of two rectangular rings. They base on a 9x9m grid with a gap of 4.5m. The five level inner ring is a storage rack, facing the patio. So before entering the building the books are presented to the visitors. In contrast to the strictness of the inner ring, the outer one is designed more freely. There are reading rooms added on planes and other functional areas in cubes. The 4,5m wide interspace is either a separating light gap or a connection and enlargement.

The reading rooms are arranged along an architectural promenade that leads from the ground floor up to the fifth level. At the end of each flight of stairs the user reaches one of the four two storey high reading rooms. Each one is orientated to another side of the building, which gives them individual views and characters.




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