Topping-out Ceremony for the New Rotation Building

The next milestone for construction on Poppelsdorf Campus

Richtfest - The topping-out crown is ready to be hung. from left: Rector Prof. M
Richtfest - The topping-out crown is ready to be hung. from left: Rector Prof. Michael Hoch, Mayor Dr. Ursula Sautter, BLB NRW Managing Director Gabriele Willems and Jens Urlichs, Technical Manager of BLB NRW’s Cologne branch. © Photo: Barbara Frommann/Uni Bonn all images in original size .
A laboratory and seminar building called the "Rotation Building" is being erected on the University of Bonn Poppelsdorf Campus, built by BLB NRW, the construction and real estate agency of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The created space is to provide interim housing for University institutes during transition ("rotation") periods. A topping-out ceremony was held marking completion of the building shell as the latest milestone in the construction project.

The laboratory and seminar building on Poppelsdorf Campus BLB NRW is erecting is mostly a modular construction utilizing prefabricated steel units. The individual modules only arrived at the construction site for assembly in early February, and now eight weeks later the shell is essentially ready. Work on the interior is now already in full swing, with the facade work to commence shortly. The topping-out ceremony celebrating this project milestone was attended by representatives of the University of Bonn, the City of Bonn and BLB NRW.

Key project for further construction development

The main purpose for the Rotation Building, when completed, is to have more "maneuvering room". As an interim facility, it will serve as temporary housing for various University of Bonn institutes while their own dedicated buildings undergo necessary renovation, going forward.

University of Bonn Rector Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, commented: "Progressive renovation moves us a bit closer to our goal every day of having Poppelsdorf Campus developed into an urban University environment located close to the city center, and a place for innovation and dialogue in research and teaching. The Rotation Building gives us flexibility to conduct renovation, enabling the institutes housed there to continue on with their mission of excellence in research and teaching."

The new building will offer some 8,300 square meters of space for labs, offices and classrooms to be used by students, researchers and instructors. A large inner courtyard will provide an inviting place to sit and talk or read.

Flexible modular design for rapid completion

The modular construction BLB NRW decided on for this project afford the major advantage that preparatory work can take place at the construction site while the modules are being specially manufactured in factories off-site. "The modular construction gives us great overall flexibility," explains BLB NRW Managing Director Gabriele Willems. "Using prefab elements means construction progress is no longer very weather-dependent, for example, and more work can be done in parallel."

Once completed, the building will not look much different from other Campus buildings, as the individual module components can no longer be seen after finishing. Behind the facade and with the interior finished, the structure will fit seamlessly into the larger construction landscape. "At project completion the University will have a modern laboratory and seminar building right here that affords outstanding working conditions," says Jens Urlichs, Technical Manager of the Cologne branch of BLB NRW, responsible for project realization.

The Rotation Building by the numbers
Consisting of 141 prefabricated steel modules, the Rotation Building connects to two concrete structures built beforehand. An individual module can be up to 17 meters long, a good five meters wide and four meters high. Getting the 31-ton building elements from Port of Bonn to the construction site by truck posed a logistical challenge. Up to eight modules arrived per day where they were placed as according to plan and precision-installed using two cranes.

Media contact:
Frank Buch
Bauund Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW (BLB NRW), Cologne Branch
221 35660 282
Cell: +49 162 1054 240