2019 Dominik Hagn & Carolyn Sarah Herzog - Innovation Factory der RWTH Aachen
Currently, the center of the RWTH Aachen University is located at the main building at Campus Mitte. In 2005 the university decided to extend their research areas as part of a campus expansion, which is called “Campus West”. The new area, situated at west station, will comprise research clusters, social housing, a hotel and infrastructural facilities.

The new main building of this huge territorial expansion of 325 000 m2 is called the Innovation Factory. It will present the entrance into the territory and is a completely new architectural definition of task. The Innovation Factory consists of five essential main blocks: the convention, the camp, the lab, the store and the idea floor. The three side blocks for the infrastructural supply of the building and Campus West are used as organization facility, food area and hotel.

The challenge of this building was to combine these diverse blocks within one building, which represents the new way of product engineering. Another very important point of task was to plan the Innovation Factory in several construction phases or, more specifically, to make it structurally expandable.
The convention as first main block will present the Innovation Factory and its products to the general public in the course of congresses, events and exhibitions. Interested product engineers can realise their ideas in the camps, where a camp coach helps to draft, improve and implement their products. Depending on the product, they are divided into physical and digital camps. The stores sell their expert knowledge to the product engineers and the new products can be built in the labs. The connection between these blocks is the idea floor, enabling exchange between engineers and space, where anything is possible. Finally, the cycle starts over by presenting the new products in the convention or on the idea floor.

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