CT2 Center for Teaching and Training of the Medical Faculty
Facades Clad the Gateway to the Future
Founded in 1870, Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany is considered one of the country’s flagship institutions in higher education. The largest technical university in the country, the institution’s campus buildings span the entire city. The campus sits on more than 620 acres and is located in the Northwestern part of the city
The university’s student population is just as massive. On average, RWTH holds 44,500 students, 550 professors and nearly ten times as many research associates. With population numbers of this size, RWTH is an internationally renowned university for technical and medical degree programs.
The university’s campus buildings are spread throughout the city into a series of research clusters. One of these clusters includes the Biomedical Technology Cluster, located in direct vicinity of University Hospital Aachen. The distinguishing feature of the cluster is the CT2 Center for Teaching and Training of the Medical Faculty. The building can be seen from great distances and was designed to serve as the gateway to the future with its shape and prominent position.
While the building was in concept, A. Frauenrath BauConcept GmbH and architects from SOP had a mission that was two-fold. They needed to address the high functional demands of the space while treating it like flagship project in terms of design. To help achieve this functional, artistic mission, the team turned to GKD and their OMEGA 1520 woven metal mesh.
A High-Tech Facelift
For the team of architects, there were several reasons to go with GKD’s OMEGA 1520 woven stainless steel mesh. The metallic facades help underline the building’s high-tech aspirations, giving it an appropriately contemporary face. Interacting with additional glass facades, the woven metal mesh also helps facilitate communication with the building’s interior and exterior.
Two of the new building’s facades are comprised of more than 20,000 square feet of GKD’s OMEGA 1520 metal mesh. The facades don the lateral sides of the building and are spanned by a shimmering skin made of metallic mesh,creating a highly aesthetic surface. In total, the facades are comprised of 12 panels of OMEGA 1520 stainless steel mesh, each measuring nearly 97 x 18 feet.
In addition to manufacturing and assembling the metal mesh for the facades, GKD also took care of installation for the project. In line with the patented Fusiomesh NG system, the upper and lower edge of the stainless steel mesh is embedded in a special adhesive between two flat profiles, and thereby bonded. To reduce horizontal movement, seven stainless steel tubes run horizontally behind the mesh as intermediate attachment levels. The mesh is then attached to these tubes from the outside wire clamps that are invisible once fitted.
In addition to the aesthetics of the metallic “shell,” its functional properties were key for its selection. The facade serves as efficient solar protection that reduces surface temperature and the degree of sunlight admission into the laboratory, office and seminar rooms. While doing this, the open mesh still allows for natural daylight into the building, as well as clear outward views. This plays a positive role in the building’s energy balance.
A Bright Exterior for a Bright Interior
The CT2 Center for Teaching and Training of the Medical Faculty at RWTH represents a milestone in biomedical technology education. Within its halls, laboratories and seminar rooms, some of the brightest minds will collaborate to help create a better future. And now, with its stainless steel mesh façade serving as a shimmering exterior, the gateway to the future can be admired from afar.