The premises are located on Rixbecker Straße, and they used to belong to the neighbouring automotive supplier Hella, with which the university of applied sciences cooperates as a polytechnic university as well. To the north, it abuts on an extensive pasture landscape of the Lippe River, and because of its natural beauty, the area was referred to as “Kingdom of Heaven“. Here the architects built an ensemble comprising four buildings arranged around a central square. The leitmotiv of the design is communication. Where and how do students, professors and visitors meet? In that way, the square is of major importance as the social centre of the campus, the distribution of the different functions to the buildings automatically makes it a lively place. The topic of encounters is also passed on to the respective interior spaces, and in addition, each building has a large entrance hall also used as exhibition space, and these constitute a rather smooth connection between the interior and the exterior.
The four buildings have two or three storeys and their entire alignment is horizontal. As a result, they blend in harmoniously with the free and extensive natural landscape especially to the north. The two northern, U-shaped buildings also have greened patios that open up in the direction of the Lippe wetlands. The different types of usage of the four buildings comprise the canteen and administration with a student service centre, library and lecture hall centre as well as the use as institutional building with labs, workshops and the departments. Apart from these main functions, there are special areas of different qualities where students can study everywhere too, ranging from informal gathering places and sofa lounges to group-work spaces or quiet places to study in the media library.

Even before its official inauguration, full operation was started on Campus Lippstadt in March 2014 exactly as scheduled. This was also made possible by the RKW construction management, which was able to compensate successfully for the insolvency of one of the two general contractors as well. In the meantime, the first of up to 2,000 students - and their lecturers too as a matter of course - have found ideal conditions for studying on the campus in highly specialised fields of study such as computer visualistics, material design for bionics & photonics or social media and communication information science.



Hochschule hamm-lippstadt. campus lippstadt


Das Gelände liegt an der Rixbecker Straße und hatte dem benachbarten Automobil-Zulieferer Hella gehört, mit dem die FH als technische Hochschule auch kooperiert. Nördlich grenzt es an eine weitläufige Auenlandschaft der Lippe, aufgrund seiner natürlichen Schönheit trug das Areal den Namen „Himmelreich“. Hier errichteten die Architekten ein Ensemble aus vier Gebäuden, die sich um einen zentralen Platz gruppieren. Das Leitmotiv des Entwurfs ist Kommunikation. Wo und wie kommen die Studenten, Professoren und Besucher zusammen? So erhält der Platz eine große Bedeutung als sozialer Mittelpunkt des Campus, die Verteilung der verschiedenen Funktionen auf die Gebäude führt automatisch zu seiner Belebung. Das Thema Begegnung wird auch in die jeweiligen Innenräume weitergetragen, jedes Gebäude verfügt dazu über großzügige Foyers, die auch als Ausstellungsflächen dienen und Innen- und Außenbereich fast fließend verbinden.
Die vier Baukörper sind zwei- oder dreigeschossig und in ihrer ganzen Ausprägung horizontal angelegt. So fügen sie sich in die besonders nach Norden hin freie und weitläufige Naturlandschaft harmonisch ein. Auch besitzen die beiden nördlichen, U-förmigen Gebäude begrünte Innenhöfe, die sich in Richtung der Lippeauen öffnen. Die verschiedenen Nutzungen der vier Gebäude beinhalten Mensa und Verwaltung mit einem Studenten-Service-Center, Bibliotheks- und Hörsaalzentrum sowie die Verwendungen als Institutsgebäude mit Laboren, Werkstätten und den Departments. Neben diesen Hauptfunktionen sind überall auch gesonderte Flächen für studentisches Lernen mit unterschiedlichen Qualitäten angeordnet, von informellen Treffpunkten und Sofalounges bis zu Gruppenarbeitsplätzen oder ruhigen Studierorten in der Mediathek.

Schon vor der offiziellen Eröffnung ging der Campus Lippstadt im März 2014 genau wie geplant in Komplettbetrieb. Dafür sorgte auch das RKW-Baumanagement, das die Insolvenz eines der beiden Generalunternehmer erfolgreich kompensieren konnte. Inzwischen haben die ersten von bis zu 2.000 Studierenden in hochspezialisierten Studiengängen wie etwa Computervisualistik, Materialdesign für Bionik & Photonik oder Soziale Medien und Kommunikationsinformatik – und natürlich ihre Dozentinnen und Dozenten – auf dem Campus beste Lernbedingungen gefunden.

T23 Aggregate Centre. Ingolstadt

Technical Development (TE) at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt is undergoing expansion. RKW has now planned the second section of the company's GEZ Gear and Emission Centre. The new build picks up on the colours and materials of the existing Technical Development buildings. On a total gross building area of 22,000 m2, workspace will be created for 488 employees, with four storeys available for office use. The technical highlight of the new building is the testing facility level on the ground floor. Here, the Emission Centre has a range of exhaust test rigs equipped with what are known as SHEDs, gas-tight chambers for emission testing, supplemented by airlocks and analytics sections. The Gear Center is also located here, with more test stands for front and four-wheel drive vehicles and space for paternoster systems. Workshops and laboratories are situated on the first floor and accessed on a ramp. The building is a reinforced steel construction with increased floor loads and is supplied as far as possible with light and ventilation from natural sources. Another of its special features is the "meeting bridge", which connects the new build with the first section and holds two conference rooms and four think tanks.

T2 SE-Forum/data centre. Ingolstadt

"Improved Communication" was one of the guiding maxims for the design of RKW's next project for AUDI AG's technical engineering department in Ingolstadt. The T02 building holds what is termed the SE Forum, or Simultaneous Engineering Forum, which acts as the starting point for the production and networking process, as well as AUDI AG's new data centre located on the two lower floors. Between the new building and the existing T01 building next to it, a two-storey concourse with a glass roof was built. The concourse forms a vital element for the horizontal and vertical access and connection system - the so-called walk, which as a thoroughfare facilitates and promotes networking and encounters between people from all engineering sections. The concourse provides access to conference and restaurant areas as well as meeting zones and also serves as an auditorium - all in the name of communication. Its relevance is obvious on the outside already, with its welcoming, generously-designed staircase whose integrated seating areas and terraced cafeteria create an appealing entrance. Glass roofs and glass façades invite views between the outside and inside - especially inside the concourse, - creating a light, pleasing atmosphere. To further promote the best possible connections, glass lifts and bridges provide access to all seven floors and their individual flexible office worlds.

AUDI ELEcTRONIc CENTre​. ingolstadt

Think tank. An automobile manufacturer and rail station suggest the typical typologies of mobility, yet the recently brought into operation Audi electronics centre displays a completely new use of space. It represents exactly the interaction and complexity of connections that we have not achieved at the level of the city in the sense of intelligent mobility. "Burg für Bytes" (Bastion for Bytes) was the headline in the Audi-Mobil employees' magazine at the opening. The amount of automobile electronics expressed as a proportion of the total cost of a vehicle is currently 25 percent and will rise to 35 percent by 2010. In the vehicles of tomorrow 90 percent of all innovations will be in the area of electronics. In the face of these demands Audi has created a new tool for integrated working.

Of major architectural interest is the direct spatial linking of the worlds of the automobile and the office, of thinkers and craftsmen, wall to wall, with views from window to window, threaded together by an ever busy production line crossed by bridges. Deeply inset lightwells, terraces and cascaded offices promote the impression of a labyrinth of knowledge in which ideas are not just conceived, but also fleshed out and fitted together. Here the company grapevine works better than the gossip pages street-cornered by Hamburg magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr. The ubiquitous prototypes, even if they are more often than not kept under wraps, are more tangible than newspaper layouts or thematic sketches. 21,000 square metres of office space are intermeshed with 9,000 square metres of workshops, laboratories and the latest in test benches. A lighting test tunnel, climate chamber, sound laboratory and drive simulators offer every option for testing out new ideas and prototypes.

Mies van der Rohe gave us some advice, which was expressed by Peter Behrens in 1912. Behrens believed that the purpose of a building in which work of the most serious and determined nature takes place, and which accordingly provides "the greatest brightness in the internal rooms, continuous ability to undergo alterations of size and shape, unobstructed communication and full use of the constructed area for work places" should be expressed in a building's appearance. Just as Frank Lloyd Wright had done over 100 years ago in Buffalo with the even higher window balustrades of his Larkin Building, Mies worked on his almost three-metre long charcoal drawing less as an aim in itself but rather as a celebration of the aim. For an automobile manufacturer, honing his financial calculations with a well sharpened pencil, that cannot be the motive. Nevertheless, with this perfect peak of electronic bureaucracy, Audi has made an important contribution to lifting the division between white collar and blue collar staff. Office, development and production areas are combined into a single creative high-tech workshop with integrated office functions at Ingolstadt.


CAMPUS WEST​. aachen

The RWTH - the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule - Aachen University is one of Germany's most distinguished universities. It is an elite university of technology that sets standards in training engineers, and is seen as an important growth engine, which is why it is building on three sites. One of these is the 27 hectares of disused railway tracks at the Westbahnhof. A new college campus with 10,000 new jobs will be created here, bringing together competencies that are recognised throughout Europe. The design is proving to be as innovative as the institutions that will be housed here at a later date.

The campus is in three sections, each with a clear identity of its own. The heart is the Campusband, a dynamic boulevard 25 to 35 metres wide, which connects everything and forms both a backbone and a green relaxation zone. The first phase, the "Campus-Cité" with events hall and hotel, is also the entrance to the city; the Campus Tower marks the new centre in the Aachen cityscape. The research centres with institutes, labs and production facilities are arranged as a cluster following the Campus Band. They also include the listed Aachen-West maintenance centre, a former engine shed with turntable. Researchers and students from all over the world and from a whole variety of faculties meet here.

The third section is the "Campusquartier", with apartments for staff and students. Student shopping, residential and leisure centres are coming into being as a "community" on the Republikplatz and in the Campusquartier. The campus runs into an extensive tract of countryside at the northern end; the Campusband links up with Aachen outer ring road.

In this way the two curves of the Campusband come to symbolise the interdisciplinary seat of scientific learning, and become a dynamic hub for living, where people meet, relax and exchange ideas.

gear and Emission Centre​. ingolstadt

It took only 24 months of planning and construction for RKW to realise a complex test rig building on a compact site for Audi AG Technical Development. The procedural conditions of two different test rig operators had to be thought out in detail along with the sequences of workshop areas and office requirements across two building phases. With Europe's largest quattro altitude chamber and an extended climate role, the engine emissions department is extending its range of activities. The transmission development department restarts its work following the changes in workshops and central warehouse and now has access to the latest development instruments with its ten new test rigs. The 420 or so development engineers have attractive offices on the two upper floors grouped around a planted internal courtyard and terraces. The top of the building houses a conference centre with a view out on to the Jura countryside. The second phase of the new building work starts in spring 2008 with the removal of the old altitude chamber.

Ground plan

RWTH E.ON ERC main building.  aachen

The E.ON Energy Research Center ERC is the new institute for energy research of the RWTH Aachen. As a distinct, cubical building it is situated on a plain that terraces into the existing gentle slope. The main entrance opens into a generous continuum of rooms, connected with one another by air spaces and stairwells. Five research institutes, seminar rooms, workshops, laboratories and engineering areas are spread across five levels, rounded off by work stations for those studying and visiting, as well as open kitchenettes. The underlying spatial idea pursues the principle of "overlapping sciences" - the borders between institutes and storeys merge into a generously-appointed communication space. An innovative colour concept facilitates the optimal orientation inside the building. A high standard of the interior in terms of technical convenience, acoustics and sound insulation contributes towards the quality of the stay in the building, which boasts a consistently barrier-free design. Its multi-storey glass openings on either side of the concrete façades open up the rooms even visually and create lookouts. Efficient technology has been implemented for the energy supply, in line with the institute's credo, ranging from concrete core activation, geothermal energy and a combined heat and power unit, to a photovoltaic system and decentralised façade ventilation units.

Ground plan

Hall 90 B, Volkswagen AG. Wolfsburg

Hall 90 B is the new centrepiece for the development of the electromobility of Volkswagen – and the largest new structure on the premises of the automobile group. The building houses the centre for electric-electronic competence and therefore constitutes the new start for the so-called E-campus. The linear shape of the building is long and narrow, and it makes optimum use of the plot with a size of 145 x 35 metres. For that purpose, two-storey protrusions protrude from the building to the north and to the west, similar to a cascade, and spectacular to look at. On the inside, these protrusions continue – along an air space that crosses the entire length of the building, the main thoroughfare, a terraced landscape that opens to the top, with optimum lighting of the office space inside it, is created.

What is even more important: The spatial structure alone provides for exciting visual relations und improved connections between individual functional units. Side glances in all public areas are allowed here and are encouraged. Significant for the design is a great horizontal and vertical interconnectedness of the labs and test benches with the developers’ offices, and their arrangement is also oriented by the density of cooperation among them. The conference rooms are – also with a view to optimum interconnectivity – centrally arranged around the staircases and the hall in order to make it easy for people to find their way around and to keep the distances they have to cover as short as possible.

Section / Building Structure


However, Hall 90 B finally becomes an open and communicative competence centre by way of the inner hall which crosses the entire length of the building and connects all office floors. By way of the main thoroughfare, the canteen, the cafeteria, the AMI lab, conference rooms and the pool workstations, among others, can be reached directly. With its unobstructed openness regarding the length and height of the building and its function as the main social artery, the main thoroughfare represents the basic idea of the building – there is space for encounters and exchange here, not only between pros working in different disciplines, but quite simply between people.

Schema - Groundplan

Elevation South

Additional elements of the building are automobile-specific: Via gate systems in the north facade, vehicles can enter the workshop floor and can be transported, for example, to the lab and hall level by way of a freight elevator. The lab and test bench area can be divided up flexibly thanks to its linear principle of arrangement, and it provides for a great degree of clarity.



Halle 90 B, Volkswagen AG. Wolfsburg

Halle 90 B ist ein Musterbeispiel: Sie ist das Herzstück für die Entwicklung der Elektromobilität bei Volkswagen – und der größte Neubau auf dem Gelände des Automobilkonzerns. Das Gebäude beherbergt das Zentrum für Elektrik-Elektronikkompetenz und bildet damit den neuen Auftakt des E-Campus. Lang und schmal ist die lineare Gebäudeform, die das Grundstück mit einer Größe von 145 x 35 Metern optimal ausnutzt. Dafür lässt RKW nach Norden und Westen jeweils doppelstöckige Versprünge kaskadenartig und optisch spektakulär auskragen. Im Inneren setzen sich die Versprünge fort – so entsteht eine sich nach oben öffnende Terrassenlandschaft mit optimaler Belichtung und Belüftung. 

Noch wichtiger aber: Schon die räumliche Struktur sorgt für spannende Sichtbeziehungen und gestärkte Verbindungen zwischen einzelnen Funktionseinheiten. Seitenblicke in alle öffentlichen Bereiche sind hier erlaubt und werden unterstützt. Maßgeblich für den Entwurf ist eine hohe horizontale wie vertikale Vernetzung der Labore und Prüfstände mit den Büros der Entwickler, deren Anordnung sich an der Kooperationsdichte untereinander orientiert. Die Besprechungsräume sind zentral um die Treppenhäuser und die Halle angeordnet, so dass die Orientierung leicht fällt und Wege so kurz wie möglich sind.

Schnitt / Gebäudestruktur


Endgültig zum offenen und kommunikativen Kompetenzzentrum wird die Halle 90 B jedoch durch die innere Halle, die als Magistrale die ganze Länge des Gebäudes durchzieht und alle Geschosse verbindet. Von hier aus werden auch die Kantine und die Cafeteria erreicht. Mit ihrer ungehinderten Offenheit in der Länge und Höhe des Gebäudes und durch ihre Funktion als soziale Hauptschlagader verkörpert die Magistrale die Grundidee des Gebäudes – hier ist Raum für Begegnungen und Austausch, nicht nur zwischen Profis verschiedener Disziplinen, sondern ganz einfach auch zwischen Menschen. 

Schema - Grundriss RG

Ansicht Süd

Zusätzliche Elemente des Gebäudes sind automobilspezifisch: Über Schleusen in der Nordfassade können PKWs in das Werkstattgeschoss im EG einfahren und per Lastenaufzug in die Laborebene und in die Magistrale transportiert werden. Die Labor- und Prüfstandsfläche ist dank linearem Anordnungsprinzip flexibel aufteilbar und verfügt über große Übersichtlichkeit.