Leuphana university in Lüneburg by Daniel Libeskind

Upon the nearly 13,000 square meters, you will find a research center, a study center, a seminar center and an event center.

Costs were a big issue for a long time, but finally the foundations for the new Audimax of the Leuphana university in Lüneburg by Daniel Libeskind have been laid. The 60 million Euro building, probably completed in spring 2014, is supposed to set a clearly visible sign to symbolize the university’s new direction through its spectacular architecture. What can be seen already immediately reveals that Libeskind is responsible for this: There is a jagged construction, comprising four different volumes of various sizes with openings just as jagged, protruding 38 meters into the sky at its highest point. Behind the metallic shining façades you can find a research center, a study center, a seminar center and an event center with an Auditorium Maximum providing room for 1,200 students, all these buildings spread across up to six floors with a total net floor area of 13,000 square meters.

Futuristic Spaceship on a former Barracks Area

Libeskind has won the competition for the re-cultivation of Ground Zero, he has designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and he’s currently realizing a residential tower in the downtown of Warsaw. In these cities already his projects guarantee for strong contrasts with their respective urban environment. Broken down to dimensions of the small town of Lüneburg with its 70,000 inhabitants, his architecture seems to come from another planet. The contrast to the already existing buildings could hardly be any stronger: On the one hand, the abandoned former barracks area with its brick buildings, the futuristic spaceship with its avant-garde shell cut into sections on the other. As bold as this combination looks like at first glance, it provides the chance to transform the military character of the area and to set new highlights.

Heavy Protests in the Run-up

Despite this potential the project is not loved by e

 Parts of the student body along with some politicians consider this project mainly a questionably financed prestige project of the university’s new president. Plans were made to erect a hotel on the campus with partners from the private economy. These plans have been shot down, the new building is now financed completely through public resources. A threatening conflict of interests between the university and the economy was able to be avoided this way. At least something. However, it’s still not clear whether the students are going to accept the Libeskind building as their own. In the best of all cases, the project develops into an architectural lighthouse radiating far beyond the region. In the worst case the building would turn out to be an expensive foreign body.


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