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Open gesture to the town – Ruhr West University Mühlheim/DE

The site of a disused railway in Mülheim an der Ruhr is now home to the recently opened new campus of the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences. The complex designed by Arge HPP/ASTOC Architects integrates eight bright, clinker-brick buildings in an open ensemble with a high-quality urban design.

Visitors to the new campus of the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences in the Broich district of Mülheim are met with an airy ensemble of eight bright and elegantly detailed clinker-brick buildings of different sizes in the middle of an otherwise heterogeneous area, which opens onto the town via its publicly accessible grounds. Formulated as a stand-alone quarter in terms of its dimensions and conceived as a key component of an extensive urban development, the project provides a total floor space of 62,500 square metres within a 40,000 square metre site.

The main focal point of the campus is the library. Designed by the architects as a six-storey cube, it draws attention to itself with its openings subdivided by large, bright red vertical louvre blades. The building therefore has a completely different appearance depending on the position of the sun. Inside the compact clinker-brick building the exposed concrete walls, red carpets and colourful furnishings create an atmosphere full of contrasts which emphasises the materials.

A place with wide-ranging perspectives. Signal-red details highlight the coherence of the buildings.

The architects also used a similar design vocabulary in the adjoining cafeteria to the north east. Above the fully glazed entrance area, the glass front of the building with the same red louvre blades is cantilevered. The new campus of the Ruhr West University is completed by a three-storey lecture theatre building, a car park, and four other four and five-storey university buildings with slightly diff erent designs and elongated horizontal ribbon windows. The red cantilevered oriel and other red details emphasise the coherence of the development while sending out a dynamic signal of regeneration to the town.

High-contrast composition. The central library presents itself as a six-storey cube with bright clinker surfaces, large window areas, and red vertical louvre blades.

Hochschule Ruhr West
Mülheim an der Ruhr/DE
BLB NRW, Standort: Mülheim an der Ruhr
Arge HPP / ASTOC Architekten
Completion date:
Sommer 2016
Hupfeld & Schlöffel, Berkatal
Schüco systems:

High urban development quality. With the campus of the Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences, the architects created a self-contained, airy space that opens out onto the town via its publicly accessible grounds.

Words: Robert Uhde
Photos: Christa Lachenmaier