Campus West, AachenEdit profile
Campus West, Aachen RWTH Aachen is one of the most renowned universities in Germany. This elite technical university sets the standard for engineering education and is an important growth factor. Two good reasons for Aachen-based Bau und Liegenschaftsbetriebs NRW to undertake development at three locations. A 32 hectare area of abandoned railway sidings at the Westbahnhof station is one of them. A new university campus with levels of expertise among the best in Europe will be created on the site. The design is equally innovative as the institute’s later occupants. The campus is divided into four zones, each of which has a clearly legible identity. A key feature is the Campusband, a dynamic, 25 to 32-metre wide boulevard that simultaneously serves as a spine to the whole of the development and as a green relaxation zone. The doubly curved movement along the boulevard opens up a continuous flow of views into the surroundings and offers green space, places to stop and relax, while providing enough room for vehicular, pedestrian and cycle routes. The first zone, the “Campus-Cité` with a congress centre and hotel, is also a city entrance, while the Campus Tower singles out the new centre in the Aachen cityscape. The institutes, laboratories and small-batch production facilities of the research centre line up one behind the other in a homogenous cluster following the Campusband and take in the listed Aachen-West railway maintenance shed, a former roundhouse with turntable. Researchers and students from all over the world and a wide range of faculties meet in this, the second zone. In the third zone, the design continues north-east of the Campusband, taking the form of an open building layout. The result is a more relaxed arrangement of buildings that can be individually designed to provide strong contrast to the hard angles of the Cluster zone. The fourth zone is the “Campus quarter` with apartments for employees and students. A “community` of student shopping, living and leisure centres takes shape on the Republikplatz and in the Campus quarter. At the northern end the campus gives way to an extensive landscaped space; the Campusband connects to the Aachen outer ring road. The doubly curved Campusband becomes a symbol for an interdisciplinary scientific establishment and a dynamic lively axis on which people can meet, relax and interact.