29. September 2023 | Press releases:

German Architecture Award Goes to TU Braunschweig’s Student House Architectural lighthouse is an excellent place for students to learn

The Student House at Technische Universität Braunschweig has been honoured with the Deutscher Architekturpreis 2023 (German Architecture Award 2023). The two architects Gustav Düsing and Max Hacke as well as the two representatives of TU Braunschweig, Professor Tatjana Schneider and Bettina Nöhren, accepted the state award, which is endowed with 30,000 euros, on 28 September 2023 in Berlin. The award is one of the most important distinctions for architects in Germany.

The two Berlin architects Gustav Düsing and Max Hacke were commissioned by TU Braunschweig to design the Student House in the middle of the central campus. Both know TU Braunschweig and the spatial conditions well: they worked at the Institute of Architectural Design at TU Braunschweig and in 2017 they won the competition that was announced among the TU architecture assistants. The client is TU Braunschweig. The TU’s own Facilities Management was responsible for the supervision and implementation.

Circular, sustainable construction

With its circular, sustainable steel and wood construction and its spatial concept, the Student House not only provides excellent conditions for 160 student workplaces. It conveys transparency and encourages encounters and teamwork.

“It is wonderful that the award goes to two architects who were able to develop their skills at TU Braunschweig. The house was the result of an internal competition among our young architects. Congratulations to Gustav Düsing and Max Hacke. The award underlines the excellence of the architectural education at TU Braunschweig. Our Student House in the heart of the university with such fantastic, contemporary architecture is an architectural lighthouse and immediately catches the eye. It is an excellent place for students to learn and live at TU Braunschweig. It promotes exchange and joint work and increases the attractiveness of our study location for students from Germany and abroad,” says TU Braunschweig President Professor Angela Ittel.

“Young, fresh and bold architecture”

Klara Geywitz, Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Construction: “The two Berlin architects have not only done something good for the students in Braunschweig. They have used an innovative steel-wood hybrid construction that can be easily dismantled into its basic components, while at the same time creating an inviting building that can be used flexibly by students thanks to its open structure.”

The Student House was selected from a total of 191 entries from 164 offices.

According to the jury, the winner’s pavilion-like building is a remarkable architectural achievement that represents a significant step in the development of a contemporary academic learning environment. The special steel-wood hybrid construction does not make a one-sided statement on the issue of a sustainable learning environment, but actively responds to the changing demands of the times. The young, fresh and bold architecture has enriched the Braunschweig campus.

About the architecture

The two-storey filigree building resembles a pavilion. The Student House has a fully glazed facade, providing excellent daylight quality to all areas and seamlessly connecting the interior and exterior spaces. The steel-wood hybrid construction is demountable, allowing for easy assembly and disassembly, and follows the principle of “Design for Disassembly”. The primary structure, made up of beams and columns, is designed on a 3 x 3 metre square axis and is modular, always made up of identical 10 x 10 cm square hollow sections. The wooden ribbed ceilings, which are inserted into the beam frames, are only screwed in place, the facade is not glued and can also be dismantled. In this way, not only can building materials be reused, but entire components can find new uses in the sense of “circular building”.

The energy concept is based on district heating, 80 per cent of which is renewable, combined with geothermal probes for cooling in summer. A three metre deep arcade with a canopy and balconies, as well as the surrounding trees, shade the facade in summer. The building is ventilated through bottom-hung windows and a central skylight dome. All workstations are equipped with power sockets. Sockets and lighting on the upper floor, as well as cable routing, are integrated into the columns and beams. Sound-absorbing curtains, carpeting and acoustic ceilings provide a pleasant acoustic environment for group discussions and concentrated learning at other workstations.

Background German Architecture Award

The State Award is presented every two years for outstanding architectural achievements and is the most important award for architects in Germany. In addition to the German Architecture Award, the jury presented five other awards and five commendations this year. With the German Architecture Award, exemplary buildings are honoured for the development of construction that demonstrate outstanding architectural and architectural-cultural quality and bear witness to an exemplary use of construction and materials in new buildings or in the renovation and modernisation of historic buildings. They are committed to sustainable building in ecological, economic and socio-cultural terms and make a positive contribution to the design of public spaces. On the one hand, the award-winning buildings are intended to provide inspiration for future planning, and on the other hand, to raise public awareness of the importance of building culture and sustainable construction.