Library · Erfurt University

03 · 2000



New library for the University of Erfurt, Germany

In 1994, the Free State of Thuringia and the city of Erfurt advertised a European urban planning ideas competition together with a competition for the construction of the University of Erfurt.
The planning brief called for an overall concept, including the integration of the existing college of education into the scheme and the design of a new university library. As winners of the first prize in the competition, Koch+Partner was entrusted with the planning of the library and with the conversion of an existing hostel for students of the college of education into a building with seminar rooms and office space for professors. K+P also prepared an urban development study for the university as a whole, including the college of education.

The concept of large flexible spaces for the open-access library areas and the creation of a structure with a dynamic profile were two of the main design goals for this building. They were achieved in the first instance by forming three central atria with roof lights. The atria are flanked on one side by a wall slab of changing design and with sweeping staircase structures.
Openings and bridges create visual links and connecting routes to the adjoining administration tract. The open-access library areas are situated in the tall spaces where the greatest volume of public traffic occurs. Here, the bookshelf areas are fanned out on plan.
The clear zoning and the natural lighting in the three atria ensure a good sense of orientation within the building. Along the façade, screened off by the shelf zones, are quiet reading spaces with small windows that allow a glimpse out of the building, as well as reading pools with storey-height glazing that affords views to the city, the campus and the landscape.

Project figures and facts

  • Location: Nordhäuser Straße 63, 99089 Erfurt, Germany
  • Client:  Ministry of Finance and Science, Research and Culture Free State of Thuringia
  • Scope of services: Lph 2-9, all planning stages from preliminary design to site supervision
  • Gross floor area: 16,960 sqm
  • Gross volume: 78,440 m³
  • Start of planning (1.stage): 1996
  • Start of construction: 1998
  • Completion: 2000
  • Building cost: approx. 28 m. Euro