From spring 2020, the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) will fund construction of the “InformatiKOM,” a complex of two buildings, for Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). On KIT’s Campus South, east of Adenauerring, a new forum will be built for exchange between university and society. It will accommodate institutes of informatics and establishments of science communication and applied cultural studies. The six-story building of InformatiKOM 1 will include seminar and working rooms for scientists and students as well as areas that can be used in a variety of ways for dialog with the public. Together with the smaller building of InformatiKOM 2 located further east, KIT’s usable area will be increased by approximately 10,000 m² in direct vicinity to the main entrance of Campus South, the Library, and the Audimax.
Following a presumable construction period of three years, the InformatiKOM will offer institutes and scientific facilities of KIT a new home. When planning the building, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, in agreement with the KIT, attached high value to the interaction of research and knowledge transfer and the dialog with the public. The spectrum of future users is accordingly large. Among others, the Robot Design Atelier that tries to bring latest AI technology in line with the society’s needs, other informatics institutes, the Science-Media-Communication program, and the Center for Cultural and General Studies (ZAK) will move in.
“With the InformatiKOM, we will make available to KIT students most modern learning environments. At the same time, the university will be able to enhance dialog with the citizens of Karlsruhe. Applied informatics and robotics can be experienced, scientists will present their research in a generally understandable way and seek exchange with society,” says Beate Spiegel, Managing Director of the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS). For KTS, the InformatiKOM stands in a row of projects funded since the start of the Foundation about 25 years ago at the then University of Karlsruhe and today’s KIT.
“For KIT, the InformatiKOM will be another milestone on the way towards new worlds of learning, interdisciplinary with maximum transfer orientation,” says the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka. “We are very happy that the Klaus Tschira Foundation provides this major funding for our further development. In our dialog with the society, we want to inform about research, teaching, and innovation at KIT, but also take up the impetus generated by the citizens in our work. “
The three-story InformatiKOM 2 building will be built parallel to the larger main building. It will provide home to the interdisciplinary Study Center for the Visually Impaired that offers innovative solutions for barrier-free studies in particular in STEM subjects and studies latest aids for this group of persons. Hence, it will reflect the interaction between research and society that is in the focus of the InformatiKOM in a very special way. InformatiKOM 2 will be constructed opposite the rear of the main building of the former children’s hospital.
An atrium extending from the ground up to the 5th floor will form the core of the InformatiKOM 1 building. Via the open atrium, daylight will be guided through a transparent hover cushion roof down into the building. Three wide staircases will connect the open areas from the ground floor to the third floor and will additionally provide seating. The lower staircase in the entrance hall is also planned to be used as a stage for public presentations and events.
The InformatiKOM designed by the architectural office of Bernhardt + Partner in Darmstadt will provide central access to the extension of Campus South that is closely connected to the city center on one side and to the Hardtwald forest on the other. The buildings are oriented towards Adenauerring. By green areas, they will be separated from the residential area further east and the open space of KIT’s Botanical Institute.
The visualization of the planned InformatiKOM 1 and 2 buildings can be downloaded at https://www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/InformatiKOM1.jpg.
Please note the copyright: Bernhardt + Partner Architekten PartG mbB, Darmstadt
The Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS)
The Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) supports natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science and wishes to contribute to the appreciation of these subjects. It was established in 1995 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940 – 2015) with private funds. Its three funding areas are education, research, and science communication. The Foundation’s work in Germany starts in the kindergarten and continues at schools, universities, and research institutions. The Foundation pushes new forms of communicating natural sciences. More information can be found at: www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de (in German).
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.