Social Sciences Study Centre

Rebuilding the Social Sciences Study Centre of the University of Hamburg

University of Hamburg

The Social Sciences Study Centre is situated in the so-called 'soc.sec bunker', a 'seventies concrete-frame construction on the ground floor of C Building, Faculty 2 ( Economic and Social Sciences ).

The special-studies advice department, the examination-board administration, its registration department as well as the direct servicing of some 7,000 students number among the Study Centre's remits. Because of the high crowd-density during busy stretches such as examination periods and essay-deadline times, a well-structured and spatially overseeable siting of its functions acquires great significance. The re-alignment and rebuilding involved must therefore have the optimisation of activities and the creation of straightforward visual orientation as their goals.

Creative concept

Visitors will now be led directly to the new information point effected by the repositioning of the main entrance in the central area between the two logistical cores. This starting-point is placed immediately in the visitors' field of vision on entering the building. The curving shape of the accompanying walls literally washes the visitors along to the information point. Here, they can obtain information or sit on the slightly-curved benches in the waiting area and get ready for a consultative meeting with their appropriate case-worker. A numbered ticket system will ensure that this process runs smoothly.

Access to the advice bureaus in the controlled interior is available on either side of the information point. This interior is spatially defined by a giant oval form in which a copy room, a tea kitchen and a chat room are situated next to the information point. The advice bureaus are ranged along the three outer facades surrounding the oval installation. Daylight falls through the glass office doors and reaches the interior, thus providing a bright, friendly atmosphere. Transom windows above the glass doors can be opened individually to allow cross-ventilation when required.

A new emergency exit was built into the west facade to improve the evacuation of the bureau area.