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Architecture Competition for the New Chemistry Building of Chemnitz University of Technology Decided

Design from the Dresden architectural firm Code Unique Architekten GmbH convinced the jury - competition designs will be exhibited from July 6 to August 31, 2023, in the Chemnitz University Library

In the architecture competition of the Free State of Saxony, represented by the state company Saxon Real Estate and Construction Management (SIB), Chemnitz branch, for the New Chemistry Building of Chemnitz University of Technology (TUC), the design of the Dresden architectural office Code Unique Architekten GmbH prevailed. An expert jury reached this conclusion on June 23, 2023. The winning design was determined from a total of 20 submissions.

The jury included independent architects, specialists from the Saxon State Ministry of Finance, the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture, and Tourism, two representatives of TUC, and experts from SIB and the city of Chemnitz. The committee was chaired by Prof. Dr. Claus Anderhalten, architect and professor in the field of Environmentally Conscious Planning and Experimental Building at the University of Kassel.

The winning design will be transferred to construction planning in the next step. The plans for the New Chemistry Building of TUC are under the direction of the SIB Chemnitz branch.

Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, President of TUC: "We are very pleased that the urgently needed new building of the chemistry department is now visibly advancing. On this occasion, it is a necessity for us to thank everyone who has contributed to this. This includes the members of the Saxon State Parliament, the State Ministry for Science, Culture, and Tourism, the state company Saxon Real Estate and Construction Management, as well as many colleagues at Chemnitz University of Technology."

Prof. Dr. Michael Sommer, Managing Director of the Institute of Chemistry and head of the Professorship of Polymer Chemistry at TUC: "The architectural implementation will create functional and modern spaces in the new chemistry building that provide ideal conditions for research and teaching in chemistry. The new building invites students, staff, and the curious to learn more about and contribute to chemistry in Chemnitz. In combination with the recent personnel and thematic realignment, the Institute of Chemistry is preparing for the future and will establish itself as an outstanding and visible Saxon location for research and teaching in the fields of hydrogen, catalysis, and intelligent functional and membrane materials."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Seyller, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and head of the Professorship of Experimental Physics with a Focus on Technical Physics at TUC: "Due to the spatial proximity of the new chemistry building to the Institute of Physics, additional necessary synergies are created between the two institutes of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The Institutes of Chemistry and Physics are already working closely together. The elimination of travel distances will make the institutes grow even closer together, which significantly strengthens both research and teaching at the Faculty of Natural Sciences."

Prof. Dr. Marc Armbrüster, jury member and head of the Professorship of Materials for Innovative Energy Concepts at TUC: "As part of the competition, 20 designs were created with a very wide range of creative suggestions. From the perspective of future users, safety aspects and functionality were at the forefront of the jury's evaluation of the proposed institute buildings. These are implemented in an exemplary manner in the winning design. The chosen arrangement of the office and laboratory areas to each other creates short routes. Public integration is achieved through the design of the foyer with a large experimental lecture hall and inspiring lounge areas that invite exchange and discussion."

The formal statement of the jury on the winning design states: The winning design "achieves a clear appearance to the campus square with a simple cubic structure. Two offset bars form a clear building focal point." Moreover, it's mentioned that the single-level base structure developed on the front sides compellingly enhances the spatial interaction towards the lecture building. In addition, the jury emphasizes: "By partitioning the use areas into an office portion that faces the campus square and a laboratory portion directed towards the south, the originator accomplishes a very straightforward, neatly organized arrangement of the spatial plan without significant deviations. Both the central entrance and the atrium following the building direction open up the building very naturally."

Exhibition at the Chemnitz University Library displays competition designs

The results of the architecture competition will be exhibited from July 6 to August 31, 2023, in the University Library (UB) Chemnitz, Straße der Nationen 33. The exhibition will open on July 6 at 2 p.m. and can be visited during the library's opening hours (Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Extended opening hours apply during the exam period from July 16 to August 12.

Background: New building for the TUC Institute of Chemistry

The Institute of Chemistry of TUC belongs to the Faculty of Natural Sciences. It makes a significant contribution to innovative and future-oriented research - including in the fields of hydrogen research, catalysis, and intelligent functional materials. This also contributes significantly to TUC's core competencies in Materials and Smart Systems and Resource-Efficient Production and Lightweight Structures.

In addition, the Institute of Chemistry is an integral part in the innovative teaching of STEM subjects. Furthermore, the institute is significantly involved in the transfer of knowledge and technology to extramural research institutions and the economy, thus making important contributions to the innovation strategy of the Free State of Saxony and to the structural change in the state.

The Institute of Chemistry is currently located in the historical Böttcher-Bau of Chemnitz University of Technology at the Straße der Nationen 62 campus. Since the requirements for contemporary research and teaching can only be realized to a limited extent in the existing rooms in this environment, the Institute of Chemistry is to be given a new location through a new building with state-of-the-art teaching, laboratory, and research facilities at the Reichenhainer Straße campus.

At the Reichenhainer Straße campus, the Institute of Physics, the Center for Materials, Architectures and Integration of Nanomembranes (MAIN), the Engineering Sciences, as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nanosystems (ENAS) are already located, with which the Institute of Chemistry is closely intertwined through research, teaching, and transfer.

The resulting spatial consolidation of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, as well as the proximity to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, and the Fraunhofer Institutes, is expected to create enriching synergy effects in teaching and research. The New Chemistry Building thus completely repositions the Institute of Chemistry and the Faculty of Natural Sciences and sets an important course for the future.

The project is co-financed by tax funds based on the budget decided by the Saxon State Parliament.

Multimedia: A lively insight into studying chemistry (Bachelor/Master) at TUC is provided by a current degree program video: www.mytuc.org/zyqv

(Authors: Matthias Fejes, Alwin-Rainer Zipfl (SIB), Translation: Brent Benofsky)

Mario Steinebach

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