Knüvener Architekturlandschaft: The Campus Süd of the Hochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld is extended by a new building for the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the Department of Industrial Engineering. The size of the area, which holds space for further buildings, offers the chance to reorganize the sites urban layout and landscape architecture. The rectangular logic of the university buildings, starting from the main building, is taken up and continued. But there is a new attitude to the context: The university establishes at the street Obergath a prestigious address and becomes more visible in Krefeld. The connection to the existing buildings is achieved through a nice park, the Grüne Mitte („green center“). Diagonal paths create direct connections between the surrounding buildings. At the same time the park opens out to the city and shows the new building towards Obergath. The welcoming gesture is continued up to the road. Campus and city are interwoven.
Rows of oak trees on both sides form a spatial frame already in the first phase and lead to a picturesque group of existing trees. At the heart of the „Green Centre“ is a large, multi-functional lawn. It can serve as a sun bathing area, offers space for ball games and can be used temporarily for a summer party. Geophytes in shard like patterns bloom in spring.
A fence of vertical flat steels that allow by their different rotation different perspectives leads to the main entrance. On the other side the paths is accompanied by a raised bed framed in polished concrete as long seating. The path leads from outside in a straight line through the building into the atrium and the large auditorium back inside; it creates a play of inside and outside.
The atrium of the new building is a „window into the landscape history“. Krefeld is located on the gravel terraces of the Rhine. This is taken up with a gravel yard and appropriate plants such weeping willows and moisture-loving grasses. It is dominated by a micro topography, showing various sizes Rhine gravel. Through the courtyard leads a run way that emphasizes the topography. The polished concrete sleepers show the surcharge from the Rhine gravel. In the center a deepening serves as aretention pool for the precipitation water. This serves the sustainable operation of the new building and accentuates the issue of water again.
Landscape Architecture: Knüvener Architekturlandschaft
Project: Campus Extension Krefeld
Client: Hochschule Niederrhein
Completion date: 2015
Area: 40,000 square meters
Photos: Guido Erbring, Frank Schoepgens