TU Dortmund University’s new library is planned to open in 2025. “I’m very pleased that the course for the new library building has now been set,” says Professor Ursula Gather, the University’s rector, who has campaigned energetically for the project for many years. “A complex is being built here that will be a beacon beyond TU Dortmund University and for the whole region.”
A new building with a total floor space of about 15,000 m2 will be erected at the University Library’s current site at Vogelpothsweg 76 in a central location on the campus. About 13,000 m2 of this are library space, the rest will be at the disposal of the rectorate and departments close to it as well as student services. “It will be a service center for students,” says Axel Wibbelt, who is taking care of the new building at the Department of Construction and Facility Management. “A compact construction and at the same time an open building.” How exactly that will look is at present being planned by renowned Berlin architects’ office Max Dudler. The team of planners led by the Swiss architect succeeded in beating top-class competitors and already has several important university and library buildings to its name. “We’re in constant contact with the architects to make sure that a distinctive and pioneering library concept is put into practice which is also in line with our requirements,” says Dr. Joachim Kreische, Director of the University Library. “A library simply as a place for storing books is long outdated.”
With the new University Library, students will have a modern central infrastructure at their disposal and a service center will be available for the whole of TU Dortmund University, even if classic book loans are decreasing more and more. “First loans of printed books per student have dropped by about 75% since 2008,” says Kreische. “Instead, users accessed e-books 8.2 million times in 2019.” The library will create room and be an excellent place for study and communication above all for students. And this “room” is to be taken literally: The library will house project rooms and rooms for group work, along with technical equipment such as smart boards, high-performance scanners and 3D printers.
Stock and workstations to be housed elsewhere during the construction phase
Alternative accommodation for the University Library during the construction phase will be set up on the empty land north of the canteen. The “temporary modular building”, as it is called in architects’ lingo, will cover about 1,800 m2. From the end of 2021 to the opening of the new University Library, some 90 staff members and 100,000 books will move into this new accommodation. The remaining stock of books and journals will be stored elsewhere. “These books will be delivered and made available on a daily basis as required,” says Joachim Kreische. The new building will also provide about 600 workplaces for students. The books from the temporary library, the books and journals stored elsewhere and the stock of the three departmental libraries, which are still in place, will then be brought together in the new building in the course of the first year after the library opens.
Demolition of the old library will start in early 2022 and take about nine months. First of all, the building will be gutted, recyclable materials recovered, and all installations and equipment disassembled. The massive steel concrete construction will then be torn down.
Owner of the new library is the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia through the BLB (its building and real estate management authority) and TU Dortmund University is the sole user. All measures in conjunction with the new building are being closely coordinated between the University – in this case the library’s director Dr. Kreische and the Department of Construction and Facility Management are in charge – and the BLB, the architects’ office and all the other parties involved. The cost of the new building, including accompanying measures, is likely to be in the upper two-figure millions.