Inauguration of "KaWo 3"

In August 2015 the first cut of the spade was made - in April 2017 KaWo 3, the biggest construction project of Studierendenwerk Aachen, was officially opened. Among others, NRW Construction Minister Michael Groschek wished the residence hall a good start and attended the symbolic inauguration, the planting of a young chestnut tree.  

NRW-Bauminister Michael Groschek, Verwaltungsratsvorsitzende Daniela Jansen und Geschäftsführer Dirk Reitz (v. l.)

Currently, the residence hall complex accommodates about 150 students in the first two of four buildings. When the last two buildings are finished 200 additional residents will move in. Especially the Studierendenwerk CEO Dirk Reitz is looking forward to the completion of the remaining rooms: “With KaWo 3 we offer room for development in times of student housing shortage. Not only did we create a residence hall for sleeping, eating and learning but we created a place that is perfect for living in community”, he said in his welcome speech. “On 18 000 square meters an infrastructure for young people will develop that is trend-setting for today’s student life.”

 

Reitz thanked the NRW Ministry for Construction, Housing, City Development and Traffic: With its low-interest loan as part of the promotion of social housing and with a grant it contributed significantly to financing KaWo 3. In his speech Minister Michael Groschek emphasized that the money was spent well: “We need more student accommodation. However, areas of high population density lack space for building new houses. Therefore, the idea to build KaWo 3 on a former parking lot is exemplary.” In his opinion the grant of 18.8 million EUR was invested well, especially because the free-time activities in the residence hall area make it a place for living together in a residential community. Also the students benefit from the grant: Studierendenwerk can offer much cheaper rents than the public housing market. The monthly rent for a 24 m² furnished single apartment is 305 EUR.

Daniela Jansen, Chairwoman of the Administrative Board and former student of RWTH herself, also praised the project. She thinks, the expansion of student housing, particularly in Aachen, is very important. She pointed out: “KaWo 3 is going to offer more than a place for sleeping and living. It will become a part of the traditions of KaWo 1 and 2 and be the home of more than 300 residents. A home where students can feel at ease.”

The planning of the residence hall that cost 32 million EUR in total started in 2012 with an architecture competition. The winner was the planning office Puppendahl. The challenge was to create a modern residence hall for 344 students that also serves as meeting point for the 850 residents of KaWo 1 and 2. As planned, four L-shaped buildings of different heights were connected with each other by staircases. The courtyards in-between create an open, partly roofed space that promotes the residential community life. In addition to a kiosk, there will be several learning and community rooms, a fitness room, a DHL parcel station and a laundry room. Furthermore, a car sharing point will improve the students’ mobility. The big outdoor area of 2 000 m² will consist of a garden, a barbecue area, a beach volleyball court and lawns.

The way of heating and electricity supply is also quite special: A block-type thermal power station provides heating, hot water and electricity for all three residence halls on Kastanienweg. Jochen Kühn, head of the Studierendenwerk Facilities Management Department pointed out the short construction period that could be achieved thanks to standardized apartment structures and pre-built walls with pre-installed bathrooms.

More than a hundred guests attended the ceremony and the symbolic planting of a young chestnut tree. Afterwards, they were shown the interior of the new residence hall. What they could see was a sophisticated architecture concept that combines attractive housing with low construction costs. Elaborate ground plans, electric roller blinds, modern kitchens and bathrooms, a lot of daylight, sound-proof windows and high-speed internet meet the criteria of modern living. KaWo planner Marius Puppendahl was happy about the realization of his design and praised the cooperation with Studierendenwerk: “Speaking for many young architects I want to thank Studierendenwerk for giving us, a comparatively young office, a chance of realizing this project. It contributes to the development of variety in construction culture.”

Our photo gallery shows the best moments of the festive Inauguration − click on the photo to start:

 

 

 

 

 

Fotos: Sabine Schmidt

 

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