Award rheform Contest© Caspar Grützner
The Faculty of Architecture congratulates Caspar Grützner on his top ranking in the rheform competition campus3. This competition is organized by the architecture magazine 'Bauwelt' together with 'Rheform GmbH' as a student competition for the visionary structural development of universities. Under the slogan 'Campus, place of exchange', the aim was to develop new, future-oriented and flexible learning spaces as a place for social interaction.
In an increasingly dynamic knowledge culture, what do learning spaces for new forms of knowledge acquisition and production look like? What social spaces are needed, what roles do forums play, but also the informal spaces for recreation, for chance encounters and discourse? These questions were the focus of the project. This is where the design 'Rhizom - Center for Networked Learning and Research' comes in and deals with the expansion of the RWTH Aachen University Library at Templergraben. The two existing buildings, two sober construction volumes from the 1950s and 1960s, are currently unable to meet the demand for learning spaces for the approximately 45,000 students, either quantitatively or qualitatively. The result is a building volume that connects the old buildings with the new building via a central access area to form a single unit. The different learning spaces, as places for individual and group learning, places of production or meeting, are laid out like free-floating levels in a wide forest of columns. The fact that the design project for a learning center for RWTH Aachen University coincided with the current Corona pandemic was a coincidence. However, this circumstance inevitably highlighted how important physical spaces and social exchange are to the individual learning process at the university. The learning center must therefore be a place that deliberately promotes precisely this exchange and, with a variety of spaces, can provide each student with a learning space to meet his or her individual needs. Accordingly, the design is based on a good networking of learning and meeting places.
Sketches and drawings for the project convincingly meet the objectives of the 'Helmut Rhode Sponsorship Award', so that he also won 1st place last year.