University of Mannheim: New university buildings in Friedrichspark: Mannheim municipal council gives the go-ahead

Last Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the municipal council of the city of Mannheim approved the development plan for the three planned university buildings in Friedrichspark. The approval for the project was very high in the municipal council meeting as well as in the preliminary decision in the main committee on March 8th: With the exception of two dissenting votes, all parliamentary groups and parties agreed to the plans of the university and the state. The development plan for Friedrichspark will become final after publication in the official gazette at the beginning of April 2022.

In order for the University of Mannheim to be able to compete with the best universities in the world in the future, it needs significantly more space for research and teaching. It is already at the limit of its capacity. By 2026 at the latest, when the planned renovation work in the east wing of the palace begins, around 20 lecture halls and seminar rooms will have to be taken out of service, and entire chairs and departments will have to be outsourced.

With a structural extension along Bismarckstraße in the Friedrichspark area, the university wants to create more space for research and teaching as well as a connection between the Schloss Campus and Campus West in A5 and B6. At the same time, the university sees the construction project as a great opportunity to make Friedrichspark attractive again for residents, students and university employees. Due to the demolition of the old ice rink, the contiguous park area will be significantly larger and the Friedrichspark can be redesigned in terms of landscape planning.

“The new development plan also means an ecological upgrade of the park, for example through the greening of the facade, through large distances between the buildings and the reduction of surface sealing,” emphasized Lord Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz at the municipal council meeting.

“We are very pleased that we now have planning security for the urgently needed buildings in Friedrichspark, because the schedule up to 2026 is tight and we have to step on the gas,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Puhl, Rector of the University of Mannheim. “We are particularly pleased about the broad support from the parties and parliamentary groups, who recognized the need for the project for the university and appreciated our willingness to compromise in the planning process. Now we will work intensively on an attractive design of the park in the further course, so that the citizens of Mannheim as well as our students and employees can feel comfortable there again”.

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