Two new laboratory buildings for the departments of Chemical Engineering, Energy – Building Services – Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Physics are to be constructed approximately 30 kilometers outside of the city of Münster at the FH Münster University of Applied Sciences’ Steinfurt campus. Behnisch Architekten won the planning competition for the reconstruction of buildings C and Q in 2021. The bidding procedure called for a master plan focusing on modernization and further development of the campus.
The new buildings’ nuanced, diverse appearance will provide future students and researchers with high-quality facilities that are a pleasure to spend time in. Their massing is enlivened by projecting and recessed elements, with protruding balconies and outdoor walkways creating the impression of a transparent and open institute. While the street frontage has a clearly defined edge, establishing a distinct architectural boundary to the city beyond, the buildings facing into the campus are much more multifaceted. Greened facades will create a sense of connection to outdoor areas. New and existing buildings complement one another to form a unified whole centered around a new courtyard offering attractive outdoor common areas where people can congregate. These can also be used for a variety of events and help promote an inspiring exchange of knowledge for both students and teachers. The main access to the buildings is provided by the new connecting path, which also helps structure the entire campus. The nodes of this network are marked by sheltered common areas and teaching spaces, seating, and service areas with bicycle stands. Second-story bridges will join the new buildings C and Q to the existing structures, guaranteeing quick, direct links for students and staff while horizontally connecting different building areas.
All of the roof areas will be greened to provide maximum surface areas for rainwater retention, thus ensuring that any accumulated rainwater is held in reserve—in the hot summer months this will have a positive, cooling effect on the campus’s microclimate. The adjacent parking structure will allow vehicles to be parked in a single location. Open facades provide natural ventilation, while a green shell of vertically arranged plantings will offer living space for countless insects. Photovoltaic modules on the southern facade form the vertical boundary at the top of the buildings and provide additional energy. “Tiny forests” in the courtyard and to the north of the parking structure offer additional retention areas. As part of the mobility concept, parking space integrated into the ground floor in the southern part of the campus provides parking for 100 bicycles in an optimal location along the campus’s east-west central path.