Technical Town Hall

Competition 2nd prize (1st prize was not awarded) 2013 Execution: 2016 - 2019 Location: Tübingen Client: University City of Tübingen Photography: Marcus Ebener, Brigida González

The Technical Town Hall in Tübingen is one of the few buildings from the 1950s in the Swabian university city. Since its construction in 1954, it had not been renovated and no longer met the requirements of a modern administrative building. In 2014, it was decided to carry out a comprehensive renovation and expansion of the building. The design aimed to merge the old building and the extension into a new whole, preserving the spirit of the post-war years of reconstruction while also reflecting the transformation into the present time. The new building was positioned towards the south, facing Brunnenstrasse, where – following the curve of the street – it turns invitingly towards the city centre. On the northern side, a small public park was laid out behind the building.

At the level of Brunnenstrasse, an attractive entrance is being created. The spacious foyer with an integrated front office leads to the newly created atrium, which serves as the centre and heart of the ensemble, located between the extension and the old building. In this hall, flooded with light entering through the roof, visitors can experience the façade of the old town hall almost true to its original form. Like the post-war architecture, the new building is characterised by a clear structural design and a minimal use of materials. Architectural quality is achieved through the curvatures and details carried out with precise craftsmanship. For example, a high-quality brick façade encloses the entire building, and inside, only a few natural materials such as wood and natural stone were used. Important elements of the existing building, such as the staircase, could be preserved, with only the banisters having to be replaced to meet current safety requirements.

The building complex now accommodates all departments of the Technical Town Hall. A total of 220 new workspaces were created through the renovation and expansion measures, with a focus on fostering communication among employees and facilitating interaction with customers. Visual connections within the building, including office-to-office sightlines, create an ideal environment for this. From the outside, large and inviting windows contribute to an architecture of transparency that complements a citizen-oriented, open town hall.

There are combination and open-plan offices that incorporate their circulation corridors into the overall space, tea kitchens on each floor and a cafeteria on a level added to the old building using lightweight timber construction. It is connected to the large conference room via a rooftop terrace. Due to its separate access, this area is also suitable for public events. Generous glazing, the visible timber construction and light-coloured furniture create a high-quality working atmosphere.