The site of the former Nibelungenkaserne barracks in Regensburg was cleared in 2007. It is close to the center of town and adjacent to the campus of the OTH University of Applied Sciences, which provides a spatial link between the OTH, the University of Regensburg, the university clinic, and the city’s BioPark. The hall of residence, which is designed for 204 students, exudes urban flair and is intended to act as a catalyst for further urban development in the (as yet unplanned) quarter.
Sloping down in a northerly direction, the site is connected to neighboring green spaces and emerges onto Franz-Mayer-Strasse. The stepped and folded structure of the facade allows the elongated five-story building to be pleasantly integrated into its surroundings, creating premium outdoor spaces. A large well-established oak tree marks the entrance near the natural boundary to the site. All parts of the building can be accessed from here. A broad, welcoming staircase, which can also be used as tiered seating or for a variety of other purposes, leads down into a sheltered courtyard, where a new path connects the building with the green areas to the north and south.
The student residence provides space for 138 single-occupancy apartments as well as a number of permutations for families and other constellations—17 two-person and 8 four-person apartments—all adding up to 204 beds. All the apartments face either west or east and can be accessed via two flights of stairs. The two-person accommodations are situated in the building’s folds and the four-person variants are located at either end. The access areas widen at key points, leading in the northern part of the building to an internal courtyard which extends from the basement to the upper stories as a source of natural light. This is a space where students can meet up and talk to each other, catering to the need for social interaction outside of the focus on academic work.
The common areas in the basement feature large panes of glass, giving the impression of being open to the greenery outside; these areas can be used for a wide range of recreational purposes, either as covered spaces or as “green islands” embedded in the landscape. Here the rhythms of student life and work can unfold naturally. The eastern and western facades are visually unified by floor-to-ceiling wood and aluminum elements as well as continuous railings made of stainless-steel mesh. The orientation and projection of the balconies provides partial protection from the sun. The optimization of energy, daylight, and ventilation accompanied by the use of wood-pellet heating enables the building to be run efficiently and sustainably.