Culture and Education Center

Culture and Education Center

Architect
gmp · von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects
Location
Alsdorf, Germany | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Universities
Marcus Bredt

Culture and Education Center

gmp · von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects as Architects

In the listed central power station of the former Anna coal mine, the largest free-spanning industrial building in North Rhine-Westphalia, the architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) have completed a sustainable solution using the building-within-a-building principle: three cubes with independent climate control and services accommodate the communal functions of refectory, auditorium, and youth art school. The surrounding building functions as a climate buffer that does not require heating or cooling.

photo_credit Marcus Bredt
Marcus Bredt

For many years, the Anna mine in Alsdorf was the largest coal mine in the Aachen district until it was finally closed in 1992. Two years later the Alsdorf Municipality issued an urban development plan for the re-use of the over 40-hectare coal mine site to form a city quarter. The new quarter is named after the Anna Park: a raised, green central open area around which the phased development of residential, commercial, and culture buildings will take place. The former tower of the main shaft, which is visible from afar, and the historic central power station of the Anna mine are reminders of the mining history. 

photo_credit Marcus Bredt
Marcus Bredt

The new Alsdorf Culture and Education Center (KuBiZ) borders the Anna Park to the north-west and includes the listed central power station. The first construction phase included a new school building that combines the grammar school and secondary school under one roof.  To house the communal facilities, i.e. the refectory, the auditorium, and the youth art school, the central power station has been converted and refurbished as part of the second construction phase. The industrial building, which dates from 1902, is 145 meters long and over 20 meters high at the ridge. The internal space, which is completely free of columns, is covered by 33 triangular steel girders that support the double-pitch roof. The large building to the east—the former gas turbine building—is quite unique. Using the building-within-a-building principle, two cubes with independent climate control and services have been inserted into the large volume of the building to accommodate the refectory and the auditorium. The refectory has 75 seats inside; this can be increased to 100 seats by using the forecourt; the auditorium has been designed for 300 attendees. Between the single-story cubes, a platform runs as a shared outside area within the building that can be used for the refectory as an extension and for the auditorium as a foyer. The access points are arranged opposite each other; for events, the refectory and the auditorium can be combined across the common platform. In the western part of the long building, a third, two-story cube provides additional space for the youth art school in the former office tract.

photo_credit Marcus Bredt
Marcus Bredt

The building-within-a-building solution has the advantage of making the air space between the new cubes and the envelope of the industrial building into a climate buffer that requires neither heating nor cooling. Furthermore, this principle made it possible to retain the listed brick facades unchanged. The basic refurbishment of the historic central power station meant that changes could be kept to a minimum: bricked-up window openings were restored and the existing windows refurbished. In contrast to the historic brickwork, the cubes on the inside are clad with highly polished compound aluminum panels in a white gold color. The back-ventilated, suspended facade panels are fitted with visible blind rivets, with the joints back-filled.

photo_credit Marcus Bredt
Marcus Bredt

The ensemble of the existing and new buildings of the Johannes Rau Culture and Education Center forms a new cultural hub between Alsdorf’s inner city, the Anna Park, and the adjacent residential quarter.

Caption
Caption

Read story in Deutsch

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement
27 Sep 2022 News
Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement

In São Paulo, global studio Perkins&Will have completed a impressive residential project... More

ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric
26 Sep 2022 News
ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric

Set within the small island town of Iki in the Nagasaki prefecture, Japanese firm Lighthouse designe... More

Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape
26 Sep 2022 News
Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape

Reflecting the local spirit and context, this reconstructed residential house in Lithuania’s P... More

Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture
26 Sep 2022 News
Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture

Following completion of their iconic cantilevered pool project in Hubertus, Olang, in 2016, noa* net... More

10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday
24 Sep 2022 News
10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday

Pools, daybeds and lounges make up the focal point for most hotels in summer destinations. The pool... More

Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India
22 Sep 2022 News
Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India

Built on a triangular-shaped piece of land in an existing educational campus in Gokak, Shreyas Patil... More

Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature
22 Sep 2022 News
Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature

Located in a context lacking strong visual elements, LOTCA by yellow office architecture is a new fi... More

Neostudio Architekci create a dynamic new urban space within the historic fabric of a Polish city
22 Sep 2022 News
Neostudio Architekci create a dynamic new urban space within the historic fabric of a Polish city

Bus Stop Education Community Center by Neostudio Architekci works with historic building fabric to f... More