Compact and finely articulated, the new student centre building for the Hochschule Hannover’s University of Applied Sciences blends with the overall ensemble of its surrounding university fabric. Designed by Schulz und Schulz Architects, the design picks up on the materials and design features of the neighbouring buildings, reinterpreting them into a striking entry to the campus.
The building comprises a publicly accessible ground floor with two office floors for administration and student workrooms above. The foyer and main event hall merge seamlessly with the entrance to the campus.
The ground floor accommodates uses such as a copy/paper shop, seminar rooms, a student conference room, cloakrooms, and lockers. The upper floors include floor plan extension areas for a tea kitchen, resulting in social spaces for student and faculty. Based on a modular 1.25-meter grid, the floorplan can be adapted to suit future/changing needs. A partial basement with enough space to accommodate necessary building services is also included.
The exterior features a light, yellow-cream coloured brick that reflects the matt yellow-brown clinker brick that dominates the campus architecture. The shape of the windows, which combine several window elements to form a larger, horizontal opening, pick up on the window strip campus theme. The window surface areas and proportions were designed with a balance of natural light and thermal insulation in mind. An external protection system with light and internal glare protection provides additional control.
The building employs minimal technical equipment for a low-tech energy strategy. All offices are naturally ventilated. C02 concentration in the air in the seminar, computer training and event rooms is kept low through the use of a demand-dependent, mixed-mode ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery (in excess of 70%).
Mixed-mode refers to a system that is optimized in terms of dimensions and takes occupancy times into account, under the assumption that not all rooms require the use of this system at the same time, at all times.