ST 2017 | Kármán 2.0

  Perspective Hanna Potulski © Hanna Potulski

A Campus between RWTH Aachen University and City, Education and Encounter

Hanna Potulski

Located in the inner ring of the Aachen city centre, the Kármán Forum was the central lecture hall complex of RWTH Aachen University for decades. Today, the auditorium section has been closed due to the high demand for renovation and has been replaced by a new auditorium at Aachen's western station. In the long term, it is questionable whether the Kármán Forum will still be used in its current form in the "Campus landscape" of the RWTH. Due to its central location between the RWTH main building and the Aachen Cathedral and due the listed building substance, a new future concept for this site is currently sought.

The conversion project "Kármán 2.0" deals with the question of how the Kármán Forum can once again fulfil its function as a link between RWTH Aachen University and the city, how new utilization concepts can revitalize the area and how the building complex can become part of an urban university of the 21st century. The aim was to develop a place where - beyond learning landscapes - connections between RWTH Aachen University, students, economy and the Aachen citizenship can be developed. The dismantling of structural barriers, a better passability of the site and the addition of a second building structure are intended to create a campus rich in potential as a completely new forum for Aachen: The Kármán 2.0. Structural interventions in the existing buildings are to be minimized in order to protect the value of the monument. Nevertheless, the Kármán Forum is also to be adapted to the modern requirements of university buildings and opened up to new uses.

By supplementing a self-supporting, modular structure, the old building fabric will be extended by new rooms. The filigree, continuous glass construction can be partially opened for ventilation and inclusion of the exterior spaces. Partial openings as well as incisions in the existing roof areas allow natural lighting and lead to an improvement in the quality of the existing building. At the same time, however, they do not diminish the perceptibility of the listed building substance. In the same way, the new, intensive greening of the Kármán exterior areas also contributes to expressing the spatial qualities of the monument more clearly and to making it more usable.



Univ-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Naujokat
​Dr.-Ing. Caroline Helmenstein
Dipl.-Arch. Bruno Schindler