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A campus for modern music and dance studies

HfMT University of the Performing Arts, Cologne

Client: Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW Köln / Location: Cologne
BGF: 15,000 m² / Completion: 2021 / 1st prize in competition

Services: Lead ConsultingArchitecture

From the outline drawing to Building Information Modelling
The University of the Performing Arts project consists of two sections - a new building and the refurbishment of an existing listed building, which were erected and extended in four construction phases between 1920 and 1980. Although no BIM-based planning was originally commissioned, we recognized early on the added value that the BIM model would bring to this project.

"The School for the Performing Arts in Cologne has been a pilot project for us in the use of Big Open BIM."

Jacob Kramer, BIM Coordinator HPP

During the first phase, the almost 100-year-old existing building was completely modelled in BIM. The big advantage becomes apparent in the second planning phase: On the basis of the results, we carried out a virtual demolition of the non-load-bearing and load-bearing components, e.g. in the area of complex roof intersections in the existing building. Problem areas were identified in advance and the optimal execution of the real demolition was confirmed. In the third phase, new modelling was carried out, which involved both the renovation of the existing building and the planning of the new building.

Playing with light
The pattern chosen for the perforated sheet metal skin of the new building is reminiscent of the patterns of punched cards used in early storage media in 20th-century electronic music. It affords a view to the outside that gives just enough contact with the exterior, while the view from the outside to the inside is obscured like a curtain. In this way, a dialogue with the light is created, which gives the entire building a constantly evolving appearance during the course of the day, until the evening hours, when it glows from the inside outwards.

Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln

The open staircase with its integrated seating steps forming the transition from the foyer to the semi-public area will be brought together to create a lounge zone, where the public and the students can interact. The overall atmosphere is characterised by a bright, warm-toned interior made of wood and wood-based materials. Light and plane materials with little structure for the floors in the foyer area and exposed concrete for ceilings with low acoustic requirements round off the overall calm appearance of the composition. The interior concert hall, on the other hand, is very much determined by the acoustic cladding of the ceiling and walls.

Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln

The meandering cladding made of composite timber panels in the main auditorium evokes the abstract image of a curtain.

Space for the public
The location of the Germany's largest conservatory of music, located close to the railway station in Cologne's Kunibertsviertel, will be extended to form an attractive campus by incorporating a neighbouring plot of land, which will also be accessible to residents and passers-by.

The interconnection of the plazas with one another defines the Campus character of the area

The compact new building defines two new, clearly contoured urban spaces: a park-like inner courtyard on the north side and a forecourt to the glass foyer zone containing the main entrance. The inner courtyard with its tree-lined, softly sculpted lawn is like an oasis in an urban environment, which - adjoining the new cafeteria - invites you to linger and relax.

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