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New Auditorium Center in Siegen
By 2020 a new auditorium and seminar center will come into existence for the campus “Unteres Schloss” of the University of Siegen.
Lectures with several hundred participants will be possible in future on the Campus Unteres Schloss. In the center of Siegen, a new auditorium and seminar center for the University of Siegen is being built in the Karstadt building. The upper floor of the department store will be completely cleared in the coming months and rebuilt by 2020: Planned are three lecture halls, eight seminar rooms and a spacious foyer area. Up to 1,350 students should be able to study and work in the complex at the same time. The university is investing about 15 million euros of federal funding. The three lower floors of the building will continue to be used by Karstadt. The department store remains open throughout the entire remodeling phase.
University Chancellor Ulf Richter spoke at the presentation of the plans of a "milestone for the project, ‘Uni in the city’ “. The realization of the lecture hall and seminar center will also make possible the planned move of further faculties to the center of Siegen. This could benefit all of Siegen, emphasized Mayor Steffen Mues: "What's good for the university, is also good for the city." Also Lina Wiegmann, director of the Siegen Karstadt branch, welcomed the project: "We are pleased, to embrace the university as a strong and lively partner." The department store will use the conversion to modernize itself overall, said Wiegmann. In future, Karstadt wants to set up a new gastronomic offer on the Schlossplatz side.
594 people are to find space in the largest of the three new auditoriums, 202 each in the two smaller ones. The seminar rooms vary in size and can hold between 41 and 79 people. The building is completely barrier-free, in all lecture halls there are special places for wheelchair users. In addition, the three halls are each equipped with large-screen projectors, electro-acoustic systems, a hearing-aid system and automated dimmable lighting. The front foyer measures a good 280 square meters and offers a beautiful view of the Schlossplatz through large windows. It can be used for events and receptions.
Reinhard Quast of Siegberg Immobilien GmbH, who is carrying out the conversion and then sells the auditorium center turnkey ready to the university, made it clear that this is a very ambitious project. First of all, "one house has to be split into two," explained Quast. The upper floor is separated from the three lower floors - this also includes fire protection and the entire building services. Then the roof of Karstadt has to be broken up to "put up" the lecture hall and seminar center upon the top floor. In the floors below, the department store continues to operate normally. In the period between the 1st of November and the 15th of January, work will cease during the two years of the construction phase, so as not to disturb the Christmas shopping and the Christmas market on Schlossplatz.
If everything goes according to plan, the new auditorium and seminar center will be handed over to the university in August of 2020, and the lectures can start at the winter semester 2020/2021. The Unteres Schloss campus also presents itself in a different and new way visually: towards the Schlossplatz, the complex has a bright, clearly structured façade with two generous rows of windows. Architect Rainer Oestereich-Rappaport explained: "We designed the façade in response to the late Baroque exterior of the Lower Castle. Both buildings are characterized by a certain discipline, have a dignified and high-quality appearance. "The existing Karstadt building from the 1970s provides very good conditions for the conversion from its basic structure, Oestereich-Rappaport praised:" If you were to plan from scratch, you couldn’t do any better."