Is a lecture hall suitable for concerts a built counterpart to the egg-laying woolly milk pig?

Hopefully not, because such a hall will form the heart of the new International Science Center at the University of Passau.

Two ministers came to Lower Bavaria last weekend to announce who won the architecture competition.

Education Minister Bernd Sibler and Kerstin Schreyer, Minister for Housing, Building and Transport.

Hannes Hintermeier

Feuilleton correspondent for Bavaria and Austria.

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In the end, the Linz office of Riepl & Riepl prevailed against thirty-nine competitors drawn in a restricted implementation competition.

Most recently even before the administrative court, because the second first winner, the Leipzig office W&V, had initiated a review of the award procedure.

Why did you do without Peter Haimerl?

So now the people of Linz are building, and in Passau some people wonder why the internationally acclaimed star of the region, Peter Haimerl, who recently designed unusual concert halls with the Blaibach and Marteau concert halls in Lichtenberg, was not invited to take part. After all, the high-tech agenda of the Free State is now getting a new piece of the mosaic, the city of Passau an urban lighthouse and the university forty-three years after its foundation a substantial expansion.

The science center at the Kleiner Parzierplatz is located between the Nikolakloster, founded in the late eleventh century, which today also houses rooms of the university, and the sloping grounds of the Löwenbrauerei, whose neo-Renaissance building from the nineteenth century, together with an operational building from the twentieth century, dominates the Spitzberg Be the hinge.

Five thousand square meters of usable space, construction costs around one hundred million euros.

Start of construction in mid-2023, completion in 2027, everything with the usual Corona question marks.

A concert hall that many hoped for

A four-storey bolt that the landscape architects Auböck + Kárász, who work with Riepl & Riepl, push into the hill in order to open up to the square at ground level. Offices, seminar and rehearsal rooms on the upper floors, and above everything is the lecture hall, which must now also provide the concert hall that the people of Passau have been hoping for for decades. Last but not least, the European Weeks Festival has always longed for such a hall.

This decision, which is so important for Passau, is accompanied by a historical deep drilling that draws attention to the founding years of the only university in Lower Bavaria - and unearths astonishing things. An archive find got things rolling. Jörg Trempler, professor of art history and visual arts at the University of Passau, came across a filigree wooden model from the 1970s, which topographically reproduces the old town and the university campus, which was still being planned at the time.

Trempler and his students immersed themselves in the history of the competition and construction and developed an exhibition that can be seen in the Museum am Dom until the end of the month.

The view of the cathedral, the Dombauhütte and the old town brings back the virulent question at the time: How can a modern university district be attached to a two-thousand-year-old city so that both parties have something from each other?

Even back then, you had to work hard to prove, through incorporation, those fifty thousand inhabitants who were necessary to rise to the rank of university town.

Originally designed for four thousand students, the number shouldn't rise much above five thousand, a tenth of the city's residents, that seemed a reasonable size.

Keywords: science center, university, town, agenda, green, lecture hall, hall, ministers, concerts, peter haimerl, university of passau, campus, concert hall, look, heart