Campus for Design and Art

Ausbau der ehemaligen Staatsanwaltschaft zum neuen Haus der Architektur

Foto: Rainer Neubert

An article by Rainer Neubert in the Trierischer Volksfreund, article dated 16.11.2022

The conversion of the former public prosecutor's office at Irminenfreihof can finally begin. But some challenges await until the planned opening for the summer semester of 2024.

When Prof. Matthias Sieveke leads us floor by floor through the gutted building of the former public prosecutor's office at Irminenfreihof, he already has the images of the future in his mind. "This is where one of the studios for the architects will go," says the Dean of the Faculty of Design at Trier University of Applied Sciences, pointing to one of the large rooms with the walls stripped of plaster. He leads the way to the future canteen with an outdoor terrace and - after what feels like 1,000 steps - is pleased about the view from the top floor, which can later be enjoyed from floor-to-ceiling windows.

For six weeks now, Sieveke has had the symbolic key sovereignty over the office tower, which has been cleansed of pollutants and was once used by public prosecutors and, before that, tax officials to pore over files. 1 October thus marks the start of the conversion to the new centre of the Design Campus. Everything should be ready by the start of the 2024 summer semester. Then the architecture department will move here from the main campus, creating space for further redevelopment projects on the Schneidershof.

Campus Design - new quarter on the edge of Trier's city centre
"We will then be present in the city centre with all the major study subjects of the Design department," Sieveke is pleased to say: 1000 students at Irminenfreihof and Paulusplatz, in the immediate vicinity of the vocational schools. "The dynamics in this quarter will be good for the city centre of Trier," he is convinced.

But there is still a lot to do before everything is ready and the energetically renovated cubist building from the 1960s with a new metal façade can become the centre of student life. After the interior plaster containing asbestos was removed in the past few months, the first thing to do is civil engineering work. "After that, the building shell will be renovated before the interior work follows," explains the lecturer in architecture and urban planning, who has been one of the driving forces behind the project for ten years.

The university and the Landesbetrieb Liegenschafts- und Baubetreuung (LBB) are working on the conversion with the planning office Merwald und Partner from Koblenz. All tenders for the conversion are on their way, says Sieveke, who is clearly pleased about the start for the final phase of the project. "We will be involved in all decisions and are now in the process of planning the equipment and reorganisation of our workshops."

Artificial intelligence and stronger networking - Campus of Art and Design
The time is right for this, because artificial intelligence is finding its way more and more strongly into the creative courses of study. Digital development requires more space and new equipment, for example 3D printers for the workshops. With the new building, Sieveke is also striving for even stronger networking within the department. "We are creating synergy effects," he is convinced. "And we are connecting and synchronising analogue and digital ways of working."

The Department of Design at Trier University of Applied Sciences is already the largest in Rhineland-Palatinate. The people in charge want it to stay that way. They cite good interdisciplinary networking, cooperative partners abroad and, not least, the family atmosphere as the key to this. "Young people want competence at their place of study, but also the feeling of being in good hands," Matthias Sieveke is convinced. The former public prosecutor's office with its large refectory is to be an important building block in meeting this demand.

Trier University of Applied Sciences: Costs for the conversion of the former public prosecutor's office limited to 13 million euros
As the dean steps out of the shell after the joint tour, his gaze falls on the sculpture of a stylised dove resting on a column in front of the building. "Since the building's time as a tax office, this has been the vulture of bankruptcy for the people of Trier," he says and smiles. This should not be a bad omen for the university. The costs for the conversion are capped at 13 million euros. It can't get any more expensive than that.



Foto: Rainer Neubert
Foto: Rainer Neubert
Foto: Rainer Neubert
Foto: Rainer Neubert
Foto: Rainer Neubert
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