Client: Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H. (BIG)
Location: Universitätsplatz 3a, Graz
Competition: 2015, Anerkennungspreis


The rooms for the extension are given in a tight urban planning framework, both in the building alignment, in the height of the main building and in the proximity to the RESOWI. The southeast side annex is to be pulled down. The structure of the historic building of 1893 and the later additions are taken up and continued by the southeast side of the new building and the northwest side of the heightening. The university library will be released in its solitary function again and the required functional connection north and south will be formed as a transparent joint to two glass bridges. The protected existing structure remains intact and is extended by two buildings, which are set back over the existing eaves. Between the eaves of the original library building and the annexes remains a gap as a glazed skylight slot, which also serves to illuminate the two foyers of library and lecture hall. The design strikes a balance between compactness and openness, on the one hand to ensure efficient, coherent functional spaces, and on the other to ensure that the upgrading of the university area is represented by an open, spatial structure. Through differentiation in form and materiality, the new components are to be detached from the existing structure and, as a total object, to be put together again in one unit. The existing facade of the historic library building is to be renovated and preserved in its listed quality. To the plaster facade of the inventory, the new building is to receive a delicate shell of glass with transparent, semi-transparent and closed areas. The appearance of the new, reduced and restrained buildings should help to calm the immediate environment.