RWTH, Aachen

The concept of strong black & white contrasts was implemented down to the smallest detail.


The development of new engines is becoming increasingly complex and requires multi-disciplinary development teams. 16 institutes of the technical university (RWTH) have therefore joined together in the CMP (Center of Mobile Propulsion) in Forckenbeckstraße in Aachen. For example, interdisciplinary research is carried out here on the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars and utility vehicles. The new research centre was designed by the architects Lepel & Lepel Architektur. The CMP is designed to enable the office spaces and laboratories to be used flexibly. It consists of two building parts: One tract contains a laboratory which has engine test benches, workshops and changing rooms as well as showers for the mechanics. The other part of the building is an administration and seminar complex. The engine test benches in the laboratory building pose a particular challenge – as they are subject to particularly high safety requirements. Among other things, particularly high fire safety requirements must be fulfilled. The engine test benches are used, for example, to test prototypes which are subject to secrecy. This part of the building is therefore a self-contained block.


Black & white contrasts create structure

The façade of the laboratory building is made of black-dyed fair-faced concrete. Narrow ribbon windows underline the closed character of the laboratory building. In contrast the administration and seminar complex is designed transparently with a glass façade and, for example, decentralised technology, and offers the highest possible degree of flexible use and networking. The contrast between open and closed is reflected in the chosen black and white contrasts. In the laboratory area the walls are black and the floors are made of white epoxy resin. In the seminary area, on the other hand, the walls are white and the floors are covered with black carpeting. The dynamic shape of the administration building is reflected in the flowing form of the door lever fittings. Range 120 in black was used here.


Lepel & Lepel

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