RWTH Aachen

The concept of strong black-white contrast is implemented down to the smallest detail.


The development of new motors is becoming increasingly complex and requires multidisciplinary development teams. This is why 16 institutes from the Technical University (RWTH) have come together at the CMP (Center of Mobile Propulsion) on Forckenbeckstrasse in Aachen. An example of the interdisciplinary research that is being carried out here is the reduction of C02 emissions from cars and utility vehicles. The new research center was designed by architecture firm Lepel & Lepel. The CMP has been designed in such a way that the office space and laboratories can be utilized flexibly. It consists of two building sections: One wing contains a laboratory that includes the engine test stands, workshops and dressing rooms as well as showers for the mechanics. The other building section is an administrative and seminar complex. The engine test stands in the laboratory building present a special challenge because they are subject to high safety requirements. Among other things, very high requirements for fire protection must be satisfied. An example of what the engine test stands test are prototypes that are subject to secrecy. That is why this part of the building is designed as a self-contained structure.


Black-white contrasts create structure

The laboratory building facades are made from black-colored exposed concrete. Narrow lines of windows highlight the self-contained character of the laboratory building. The administrative and seminar complex stands in contrast with its transparent glass facade design. With its decentralized technology it offers a high degree of flexible utilization and networking. This contrast of open and contained is reflected in the selected black-white contrasts. In the laboratory area the walls are designed from black epoxy resin and the floor is designed from white epoxy resin. In the seminar area on the other hand, the walls are white and the floors are covered with black carpet. The dynamic shape of the administrative building is reflected in the flowing shape of the door handles. Range 120 in black was applied here.

Architecture firm

Lepel & Lepel

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