Projects

ICT Cubes

Matrix Reloaded -
Reading Facades

Typology education Construction Volume GFA 9.050 m², GV 32.750 m³ Client BLB NRW Realization 2012–2015 Feasibility Study 2009–2010 Awards Best Paper Award ISWCS 2009

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#A new institute building for six IT-related institutes in the field of electrotechnology in Hörn.

As the site has only a scattering of buildings, a large proportion of the free space can be used as a green campus. This enhances the surrounding quarter and at the same time acts as a defining green approach to the “RWTH Campus Hörn”.

Photo Andreas Horsky

The institute buildings ICT Cubes are part of a comprehensive urban planning concept for the long-term development of the RWTH’s different locations in Aachen. Two highly compact volumes surrounded by a maximum of green have been developed as a result of a feasibility study that was commissioned by the Building and Property Enterprise North Rhine-Westphalia (BLB NRW). The institutes have been arranged according to floors inside the two buildings. A joint functional and communicative zone has been created at the glass bridge connecting the two structural components. The core zone accommodates the service areas that are used by all the institutes, such as seminar, conference and social rooms. The design of the façade is intended to reinforce the effect of the two structures as “cubes in a park”. A parametric code was developed in cooperation with the user that translates quotes and maxims relevant to the institutes’ research into numerical code *. The code, consisting of the digits 0, 1 and 2, is the basis for the parametric façade model, in which each of these three digits is translated into one of three fin types. In this way, the shading device placed in front of the ribbon window façade acts as an information carrier for the represented departments and, at the same time, contributes towards the lively appearance of the characteristic exterior.

*Cost Constrained Geometric Huffman Coding developed by the Institute TI, Prof. Mathar with Georg Böcherer, Fabian Altenbach and Martina Malsbender (kadawittfeldarchitektur)

Photo Andreas Horsky

The institutes have been arranged according to floors inside the two buildings. A joint functional and communicative zone has been created at the glass bridge connecting the two structural components. The core zone accommodates the service areas that are used by all the institutes, such as seminar, conference and social rooms.

Floor plan
Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky
January 12th, 2017
Decoding app for the ICT Cubes

Development of facade elements that enable the reading of scientific slogans and quotes as parametric code. The corresponding app is available now 😉

posted by
Oliver Venghaus
Entrance floor plan

The prominent incision in the topography of the site creates a representative forecourt, which not only marks the main entrance to the institute building but also allows for the functional connection of the individual cubes by creating a joint ground floor area.

Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky

The way in which the occupants have accepted the building is undoubtedly a special feature of the project.
In addition to the comprehensive involvement of all stakeholders in user surveys and workshops in the run-up to the project. The façade design also became a topic of cooperation between the planning team and the users, and is therefore an aspect of the building that the institute’s staff members can relate to.

published by the RWTHAachenUniversity on 06.12.2017
Video series: “The RWTH from above”, part 3