How the willingness to embrace resolute change opens up new opportunities is impressively demonstrated in Bochum: When the local Opel plant was shut down in 2014, a vision for the site’s future began to emerge. And it is now becoming reality: The technology and knowledge campus »Loop 51°7”«, named after the coordinates of its latitude and longitude, is now taking shape on the 700,000-square-metre site. The conveniently located site with its good transportation connections has long been a desired business location and is one of the most successful conversion projects in Germany.
&MICA is part of the effort to realise the future innovation district and, for a plot on the northern edge of the site, is planning an office complex whose compact massing and subtly modulated design form a salient prelude to the campus. The butterfly-shaped ensemble consists of two asymmetrical, multi-storey wings of equal height. They are joined by a central two-storey volume that houses the lobby and conference area. On Wittener Straße, a forecourt is created that incorporates indoor bicycle parking and also provides access to the two green inner courts of the building wings.
Structural Change and Conversion: Space for Innovation
The new building, with a gross floor area of approximately 26,280 square metres and no basement, is designed as a reinforced concrete structure with a unitised concrete curtain wall façade. With rounded corners, horizontal window bands and façade modules in two different shades, this office building has a dynamic appearance that exudes self-confidence. Inside, flexibly adaptable functional units offer the best conditions for contemporary work environments.
The plinth level, which also accommodates public uses such as restaurants and retail, features extensive full glazing in the spirit of transparency and openness. The upper floors, by contrast, are designed exclusively for office use. To ensure that future tenants enjoy maximum freedom of design, each floor is initially laid out with four functional units of between 350 and 490 square metres each. Modular partition walls allow the open areas to be divided into zones for work, communication and rest – flexibly and individually tailored to the needs of the users.
The complex is being planned and implemented in accordance with the Efficiency Building 40 standard and with DGNB Gold certification.