2017 Jan Strelzig - Aarhus University
For more than 80 years the University of Aarhus has been a continuously evolving ensemble of buildings with an extremely homogenous character. In 1931, the architects Kay Fisker, C.F. Møller and Paul Stegmann won the competition to design the University with a proposal that put forward a minimalist, modern language of forms that employed traditional materials. The master plan loosely grouped individual buildings that were aligned orthogonally to each other in a spacious park. This idea was continually pursued by C.F. Møller until his death.
In recent years, the university has grown far beyond their original development plans. As part of a modernization strategy the transportation infrastructure of the city is going to be expanded. A new tram stop is planned at the main road that will shift the university entrance.
In order to mark this change an interdisciplinary building complex for students has been proposed at this location. The program includes an event space, interdisciplinary learning and IT spheres and spaces for social gathering. An underpass, which is designed for pedestrian and cyclists, will connect the tram station and hospital with the new Student Learning Center.
The tower of the Student Learning Center will serve as a landmark. The learning rooms have flexible floor plans. The west facade of the tower has many large window openings, that allow the view into a park. A large lounge in the attic provides a living area for the students.
The visible roof trusses and the arches echo the existing building elements used throughout the campus while the geometric shape and the materiality of the building continue the general architectural language of the Aarhus University. While the inner structure is subject to the requirements of the new typology, the building envelope with its yellowish brick continues the materiality of the surrounding buildings.

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