In October 2007 school and government officials announced the university would consolidate into a 22.7-acre site just south of the city’s fairgrounds. And this past November a six-person jury determined that Zaha Hadid Architects would realize a competition design for the Library and Learning Center at the center of that complex. The firm was chosen from a shortlist that included Morphosis and Hans Hollein.
Although the 430,000-square-foot building will contain classrooms, a bookstore, and cafeteria and hangout spaces, it will be devoted primarily to administrative offices and a library with integrated study zones. “We wanted to get these two program parts very clear,” says Cornelius Schlotthauer, project architect and one of two heads of the firm’s Hamburg studio. “We created basically two volumes within this space, and they shift around each other to define an internal open space.”