two faces The Faculty of Design at the University of Pforzheim is located in a listed art nouveau building of the former Grand Ducal School of Fine Arts at Holzgartenstrasse 36. The building, which dates from 1922, and which remained uncompleted even during the initial building project, is rounded off with an urban tower. The simple new building confidently complements the original art nouveau structure.
The finely articulated façades of the existing building had to be developed further to connect them with the south-facing garden courtyard. The unity and weight of the street façades are integrated into the existing materiality of the old building with large-scale sandstone slabs. Small, square, casement, windows divide the severe, punctuated façade. The stacked sandstone at the base connects the roughly hewn natural stone slabs of the façade with the fullscale, super-elevated, closed attic storey.
The garden façade is completely glazed to orient the rooms towards the courtyard. Here a detailed steel and glass construction, with ist light balconies and large glazed areas, forms an ideal counterweight to the closed street façades. The final level, facing the courtyard with a second delicate wire mesh layer, splits and mediates between the smooth, hard glass surface and the desired permeability of the rooms facing the courtyard. The new building translates these two sides of the architecture of the adjacent art nouveau building into a new language with its relationship between severity and lightness, closedness and openness.
Through a contrast of closed stone walls and transparent, open ones, a transcendent relationship in the ensemble of old and new is created to form unified identity. The ensemble is thus completed in exemplary style: open towards the courtyard, closed towards the street.