New building for the University of Leipzig
by Erick van Egeraat



Yesterday saw the topping-out ceremony of a new building designed by Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat for the University of Leipzig in Germany.


Built on the site of a former church, the new building will consist of three elements. The "Aula with Vestry" will be used for church services, academic ceremonies, concerts and scientific conferences.


The main building will house the university's art collection, institute facilities and administrative functions, while a 730 square metre auditorium will have capacity for 790 students.


The following is from Erick van Egeraat:


Erick van Egeraat's new building for the University of Leipzig celebrates topping-out ceremony

Erick van Egeraat's design for the new building for the University of Leipzig, Germany, officially celebrates its topping-out ceremony today, October 21st.


The project is situated on the site of the former Pauliner Church, the only church to remain undamaged during the war, yet later demolished in 1968 during the former GDR regime. This fourth building section of the University redevelopment comprises a gross volume of 133.000 cubic meters and consists of three main elements: the Aula, the Main Building, and the Audimax.


The Aula with Vestry, a contemporary interpretation of the former University Church, is a multifunctional space with 930 square meters of gross floor area. The new building - like the original church - will be used for church services as well as for academic ceremonies, concerts and scientific conferences. The upper floors above the Aula house 8.650 square meters of institutional space. The Main Building hosts the University's representative areas, art collection, institute facilities and administrative functions within 13.600 square meters. The 730 square meter Audimax has capacity for 790 students.

The building ensemble enables the reintegration of the University Campus into Leipzig's city fabric. The University will represent itself with a new and strong appearance at Leipzig's heart, the Augustusplatz, whilst respecting the existing city structure and making reference to the history of the site.

"My architectural concept for Leipzig offers not only reference to the past, but opens up a vision for the future as well", says Erick van Egeraat. The main feature of the development will be the interior of the Aula; with a palette of materials including white stucco, glass and ceramic ornamentation it will have a bright and distinguished expression. "I am convinced that this space will end any discussion about the pros and cons of the reconstruction of the church and that people in Leipzig can be happy again with the memory of the Pauliner Church", affirms Erick van Egeraat.

In 2004 Erick van Egeraat's design was awarded first prize in an international architects' competition. Construction work started in the summer of 2007. The Aula and Vestry will be presented to the public for the first time at the end of 2009, on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Germany's second oldest university.

Posted on Wednesday October 22nd 2008 at 1:43 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • g


    strangely, i love it.

  • Jer

    The gothic re-imagining elements are stunning – though the lack of colour contrasts within the ‘nave’-type spaces is a bit dis-orienting/overwhelming – perhaps – scale is lost within the grandeur.

  • Marc

    great project.
    i like how he interpreted the past forms to this modern structure

  • Architecture Nowadays…

    “I am convinced that this space will end any discussion about the pros and cons of the reconstruction of the church and that people in Leipzig can be happy again with the memory of the Pauliner Church”.

    I doubt it.

    Instead of discussing wether to reconstruct or to build new, Erick van Egeraat seems to try both ways.

    It isn’t clear if there is any part of the church still undemolished but if there isn’t they are trying to build a fake church. Why?

    I don’t know if the “new” parts of the building should be with the same spatial structure of an old church though the materials and “decoration” are contemporary.

    There should be new ways to aproach spatial concepts for this kind of programs that are more interesting than what was the gothic “standard”.

    I don’t think making gothic feel new and glossy is sufficient to create a “memory of the Pauliner Church”.

    Besides that discussion (that will never take place), the building seems to be light and serene wich I like a lot.

  • a little bit confused ah? it look like a mix beetween the old church and an airport…

  • Azeem

    Love the Gothic Style , But still difficult to relate.

  • michael

    intelligent comment from architecture nowadays… nothing more to add…

  • felix

    i donnu about architecture…but try to search for the button called:GI

  • yagmur

    correct me if I am wrong but a part of this building reminds me exactly METLA – FINNISH FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE by Anti-Matti Siikala. the photo on the hompage of dezeen you see is very similar to the gallery and conference hall of the institute in finland.

    for the rest I think the space perception is interesting and impressive.

  • Tyler

    This feels strangely post-modern. I am really uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of the classical, gothic, and modern elements. Some of the interior shots are very cool, though. I’ll have to reserve full judgement until we see final build shots.

  • One

    In control by being out of control.

  • Carsten Funder

    If this new building was put on an open field or in a brand new city, I might have been open for it. But knowing that it is build to prevent the resurrection of Luthers and Bachs old house, a treasure and heritage of Germany and Europe, it will only appear for me like a false nose. A wooden leg instead of the real limb.

  • restunka

    I live down the street from this thing. It is an eyesore. It’s just ugly. Not well proportioned, and it clashes with all of the surrounding buildings. The first time I saw it I cringed. In short, it’s a big expensive WTF?