The Campus Architecture of the RUB

The architect's idea

The architect Helmut Hentrich designed the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) as a harbour in the sea of knowledge. The buildings symbolise vessels which have moored at this port. In the centre is the Audimax, the roof of which is reminiscent of a shell.

International style

The founding idea of the RUB is also visible in the campus architecture. From the beginning, interdisciplinarity was to take the place at the RUB. Departments were created which cooperate across disciplinary boundaries and work together as a team. On this basis, a community was to develop which avoided hierarchy.

No wonder that the campus – also today – does not reveal from the outside, which building the philosophers work in, where the medics are, the mechanical engineers, chemists, or historians. Equality, maximum proximity, human and academic exchange were the concepts built-in in the architectural style. It became known as international style which is also part of the inestimable mission of the RUB.

First university in the Ruhr area

The RUB was the first university in the Ruhr area, and the founding fathers wanted it to compensate for the declining industrial sectors in the 60s with a first-class education offensive. In its basic orientation and its size, the RUB was to set itself apart from the established universities. Built on a green field site, it was easiest to reach via a six-lane motorway and by rail.

The main catchment area of the RUB has always been the whole Ruhr Metropolis. With the programme UniverCity, the connection between the city centre of Bochum and the RUB is to be upgraded.

Green field university

In the view of the founding fathers, the standardised design and the construction material concrete seemed the ideal elements to give shape to their ideas. A practical building complex arose which formed an open, homogeneous unit with clean lines and no trimmings. In terms of their functionality, the buildings were intended to merge into the background, making the people more visible and thereby contributing to the development of a community, the universitas.

And today? “Green field university” is how a regional newspaper (Westfälische Allgemeine Zeitung, WAZ) dubbed the RUB, and for architecture lovers and photographers, it remains a magnet. The campus architecture has fulfilled its founding purpose. The RUB lives universitas and is perceived as a unique community.

With the campus redevelopment, the RUB currently has the opportunity to fully modernise all its buildings and adapt them to the needs of the time. The aim is to be able to offer students and academics in Bochum excellent study and research conditions and an attractive “living space Ruhr-Universität”.