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Economics at the University of Freiburg has moved into a newly renovated building on Rempartstraße

Freiburg, Sep 08, 2020

The planned renewal of Collegiate Building (KG) II from 2020 to 2025 means many members of the university community will have to adapt their daily study and work routines in future. Economics has recently moved into the newly renovated, former administration building "The Schluchseewerk" and its new extension on Rempartstraße 10-16. Although the coronavirus pandemic has delayed some of the moving and clearance dates, the KG II is almost completely empty now.

A verdant idyll hidden in the courtyard out back. Visitors to the new library can linger in the garden and recover from the stress of working the mind. Photo: Jürgen Gocke

A modern, open building has been put up next to the receiving dock in the courtyard at the back of Rempartstraße, where truckloads of food find their way to the Mensa's kitchens. Visitors can study and work in the new library. The nearby gardens invite users to pause and relax. Economics at the University of Freiburg moved into its new home on Rempartstraße 10-16 to make way for the renovation of KG II. The renewal of the front section of the faculty's new home was completed by the spring of 2020. It has office space for researchers, instructors, and administrators. The move is just one of many changes that the University of Freiburg is initiating with the renovation of KG II.

Moving during a pandemic

A survey done in 2008 detected building defects in KG II. And since then, fire safety standards have been tightened. That means the building can only continue to be used after the new fire safety standards have been implemented and the defects corrected. General renovation of the building began in the summer of 2020. During that procedure, more than an update of fire safety features and repair of structural flaws are being completed. The building's existing technological facilities are being removed and replaced with more energy-efficient systems. With the exception of server rooms of IT Services (RZ) in the basement, all university facilities were moved out of KG II by mid-August. The remaining book collections of the Faculty of Law were taken to Wilhelmstraße 26. The German Law and Roman Law Department of the Institute of Legal History (Section for Canon Law and Church Legal History) and Comparative Legal History have moved to Hebelstraße 10. KG II's Building Services have relocated temporarily to the Old University (the Alte Universität), while the telephone switchboard has gone to Rempartstraße 11. The remaining furniture will be distributed among other facilities, held in furniture storage, or disposed of by the end of September 2020. Other spaces that have been used up to now will be closed to the public until 2025.

Make way for the renovators. All university facilities – with the exception of a server room in the basement – were out of KG II by mid-August 2020. Photo: Ingeborg F. Lehmann

Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays in some of the moving and clearance dates, KG II is almost completely empty. With the support of Baden-Württemberg's Department of Property and Buildings and the permission of the Rectorate, some events and examinations were held – in full compliance with hygiene and social-distancing rules – in Lecture Halls 2004 and 2006 as well as in the Audimax before the close of the summer semester lecture period. After the summer semester, the Audimax was shifted to Paulussaal (Paulus Hall), which usually seats nearly 900 people and has been used by the University of Freiburg as a lecture hall since 2018. Setting up the construction site on the "Platz der Weißen Rose" (White Rose Square) is continuing as planned. Barriers have been erected around the building, but the entrances and exits to are being kept clear.

Swotting in a new environment: visitors must register via the HISinOne portal in order to hit the books in the new study and work spaces.

The new library for Economics

The midday sun floods the courtyard behind the new library in Rempartstraße 10-16. There, the building's basement opens onto the garden outside the ground floor. Large terrace doors offer an uninterrupted view of the garden and a long, curved wooden bench. Inside, a light installation by the Stuttgart artists' group "atelierJAK," bathes the self-signout desk with color. "Despite the corona crisis, the move into the newly renovated building and new extension went off almost without a hitch. We're very satisfied with the modern technical equipment and other highlights, like the idyllic garden. The move has set the course for the future of Economics at the University of Freiburg," explains Prof. Dr. Olaf Rank, the Dean of the Faculties of Economics and Behavioral Sciences. Due to the current pandemic, only a limited number of visitors – who must register via the portal HISinOne – are being allowed in the building at one time. But soon the library will become a favorite spot for hitting the books or soaking up knowledge – without restrictions.

Patrick Siegert