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Typology education service provider Location Mönchengladbach Construction Volume GFA 5.800m², GV 20.995m³ Client NEW mobil & aktiv Mönchengladbach GmbH General Contractor A.Frauenrath BauConcept GmbH User Hochschule Niederrhein and NEW Realisation 2014-2015 Competition 1st prize 2013 Awards Mies van der Rohe Award 2016 – shortlist, German Solar Prize – award plaque 2016, German Design Award 2017- Excellent Communications Design Architecture, BDA Linker Niederrhein – Auszeichnung guter Bauten 2017, lnnovationsAward for building integrated photovoltaics 2018 – special prize for facade design


Photo Andreas Horsky

#New build of a modern energy efficiency centre on the campus of Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach

The low-resource energy generation system is displayed on the outside of the sculptural facade made of photovoltaic elements, thus giving the building an unmistakable character.

Photo Andreas Horsky

The project, which is a cooperation between the energy and water utility company NEW and Hochschule Niederrhein, is designed to present innovative developments in the energy sector.
The five-sided structure, a solitaire in the urban landscape, is clearly perceived as a new element at the university, which uses the large forecourt with the open stairway to link the city and the campus. The special facade consisting of oppositely inclined, blue-tinged glass and photovoltaic elements has been designed to perfectly suit the orientation and incidence of solar radiation. A window alongside the open stairway offers passersby a view into the energy centre of the zero emission building that meets Passive House standards. In addition to the rooms for the energy centre NEW, the Blauhaus building accommodates various educational and administrative institutions of Hochschule Niederrhein, the university library, the start-up centre “Blauschmiede” with offices for new business founders, as well as the energy laboratory “Innovatorium” for pupils and students.

Site plan
Development of the building structure
Photo Andreas Horsky

Entrée to the campus

From an urban planning point of view, the design deliberately avoids taking a purely additive approach. Instead, it uses the opportunity to make some moderate structural changes and provide a new attractive entrance to the campus.

December 4th, 2017
The best new buildings on the Lower Rhine

Minto and Blauhaus in Mönchengladbach received the Good Buildings Award

Symbiosis of energy industry, science and public sector

Future-oriented business and science institutions require an exchange of information among themselves and with the public. The NEW-Blauhaus building on the campus of Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach perfectly connects these three elements with the result that several joint wishes could be fulfilled:

1 NEW energy centre
2 NEW customer centre
3 Energy and water utility company NEW
with its department energy-related services
4 Research institutes NIERS and GEMIT
NEW endowed professorship „Energiecontrolling“
5 Library administration
NEW Blauschmiede, a start-up centre for innovative businesses in the energy sector
6 University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Niederrhein
University library, roof terrace

Photo Andreas Horsky

Four storeys are grouped around an atrium that directs natural light into all zones of the building.

Concept Colour blocking

Interior design: clarity and colour blocking

Based on the activity of the building – a system generating energy from dusk to dawn – the colour and material concept varies the tones of sunset and sunrise.
The different colours on each level of the free-standing access core make it easier for visitors to find their way around.

Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky
Photo Andreas Horsky
Library | Photo Andreas Horsky

Energy centre: state-of-the-art technology

The energy centre of the NEW-Blauhaus building is positioned on the ground floor. A window close to the open stairway, displaying information on sustainable energy, captures the curiosity of passersby. Interested visitors can enter the NEW energy service centre and take a look at the technical equipment. The most important part of the building’s heating and cooling system is a highly efficient, reversible heat pump in combination with a spectacular ice storage tank and chiller plant. Depending on the time of year, the elements interconnect to either heat the building in winter or cool it during peak periods in summer. Further fully operational technologies have been added for presentation purposes, including a combined heat and power unit, a peak load boiler for heating and an absorption refrigeration system for cooling.

June 28th, 2016
World Architecture Day at NEW-Blauhaus

Crowds of visitors in front of NEW-Blauhaus on World Architecture Day 2016

March 31st, 2016
Guided tour through NEW-Blauhaus

Mr. Müller from NEW explains the thermal ice storage tank in the basement on a guided tour for students.

posted by
Kilian Kada