Due to steady growth and the increasing number of students and employees, the university will be expanded spatially. By 2020 an extension is to be built, which together with the existing building, will form a "Campus of the Future". In a competition, the Architectural Office NMPB Architects ZT GmbH Vienna, which planned the existing building, was selected for the new building.
Growth of the university
St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences is currently educating approximately 2,650 students and is a workplace for around 300 full-time employees as well as around 650 part-time lecturers. The steady growth now requires a spatial expansion. The planned extension will comprise approximately 12,000 square meters of gross floor space.
In combination with the existing building, a total of around 30,000 square meters of campus space will be available in the future. Both buildings will be spatially connected to each other at all levels and merge into a campus space, which will become a showcase project in the university sector. The construction costs for the extension are approximately 30 million Euros (net). It should be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the summer semester 2020.
"St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences has developed very successfully and has established itself in the 20 years of its existence as an important educational and research institution. Today, it is one of the most research-oriented universities in Austria and is a pioneer in innovative teaching methods and pedagogic-didactic concepts. With the expansion, we are creating the prerequisite for successful further development and the creation of additional study places", said Mayor Matthias Stadler.
A "Campus of the Future" is being created
At the "Campus of the Future" innovative teaching and learning spaces as well as future-orientated jobs are going to be created. Sixteen flexible and interactively usable seminar rooms will be configured. Numerous group work, project and self-study spaces will provide the students room for in-depth learning. A modern library as well as a learning lab and learning cafe will also be made available. A spacious and open auditorium as well as public areas will offer space for meeting and communication. Also, the surrounding outdoor area will be an invitation to study and to linger.
In addition, "state-of-the-art" laboratories will be equipped and a show room will provide the opportunity to present research projects and results. The new "Campus of the Future" will also provide space for teams in the creative pre-incubator program, with which St. Pölten UAS supports students and alumni in business creation and start-ups.
Close involvement of staff and students
The plans for the new campus are already well advanced. Preparatory thereto, nonconform in a participatory process with an intensive involvement of staff and students, a project team from St. Pölten UAS together with the planning office has ascertained needs and requirements, as well as set up and evaluated pilot seminar rooms and workplaces.
"St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences sees itself as a 'Best Place to Learn' as well as a 'Best Place to Work'. The best possible results in learning and working are closely related to the spatial environment. In the future, we would like to even more strongly support innovative didactic concepts with flexibly usable rooms. For our employees, communicative and quiet offices offer, as needed, optimal workplace environments. We have already developed and tested a lot and the positive feedback shows us that we are on the right path", said UAS Executive Director Gernot Kohl.
NMPB Architects ZT GmbH with FCP GmbH win the architectural competition
In the framework of an architectural competition, in which numerous domestic and foreign architectural offices participated, the Architectural Office NMPB Architects ZT GmbH Vienna with FCP GmbH, which planned the existing building, has emerged as the winner. The jury consisted of representatives from the provincial capital St. Pölten, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and external experts. "In terms of best implementation of planning for the idea of an overall 'Campus of the Future', the Architectural Office NMBP has succeeded in fulfilling our needs and requirements", explained jury member Gernot Kohl.
"The new and the existing buildings complement each other both spatially and functionally and form the UAS campus for the 21st century", explained architect Sascha Bradic of NMPB Architects ZT GmbH Vienna.