The design of the building was derived from the desire to create an open space for public activities in the city center.
The administrative and service units for students are housed on five floors. The cantilevered top floor includes a large meeting and conference area, and under the entry square there is a large multi-functional hall for exhibitions and events. The structure is primarily a reinforced concrete frame structure, wherein the projecting ground floor is set on a continuous floor plate with shallow footings. The supporting structure of the cantilevered top floor consists of four welded girders with a total length of about 31 m and a maximum height of 7 m. The transparent south facade was designed as a slim post and beam construction that allows insights into the building interior.
The energy concept of the building is based on utilizing environmental resources and natural processes first, and adding conventional cooling, heating or mechanical ventilation systems only for extreme load peaks. Except for the assembly rooms, the building can be naturally ventilated. The southern facade is equipped with opening flaps that support an efficient natural ventilation.
A 2,500 m deep borehole heat exchanger supplies the building with heat and – switching to an adsorption – with cold. The project was funded as a demonstration project by the EU and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and performed under direction of the Institute of Mine Surveying, RWTH Aachen. The innovative approach of this building is that it is the first inner city building with heating and cooling by a deep borehole heat exchanger.