GroundbreakingKlaus Tschira Stiftung to Build AudimaX for the University

Pressemitteilung Nr. 85/2020
30. September 2020

Construction launch for new lecture hall and learning centre – hub for teaching and dialogue

The natural and life sciences campus of Heidelberg University is gaining a hub for teaching and dialogue. The Klaus Tschira Stiftung is building the university a lecture hall and learning centre with a very large auditorium, additional large lecture halls, as well as library, learning, and exhibit areas. In keeping with its massive dimensions, the building will be known as the “AudimaX”. It will become the “new locus” of the Neuenheimer Feld campus. The groundbreaking on 8 October 2020 will launch the start of construction. Baden-Württemberg Science Minister Theresia Bauer and State Secretary Gisela Splett of the Ministry of Finance will attend the ceremony. After the Mathematikon, the AudimaX is the second largest university building in Heidelberg given to the state of Baden-Württemberg by the Klaus Tschira Stiftung.

Visualisierung Audimax

The Auditorium maximum – a large, representative lecture hall with over 900 seats and therefore Heidelberg University’s largest – will be flanked by two additional lecture halls with 250 seats each and four seminar rooms that can also be interconnected. A spacious learning centre and areas for the central campus library, a foyer, and exhibit areas will also be included. The five-storey complex of approximately 8,700 square metres of usable space will have an open and transparent building structure that ties it into the exterior campus space.

“We are creating a central, interdisciplinary meeting place in Neuenheimer Feld where students and researchers can exchange ideas and seek inspiration. It will be a meeting place for the natural and life sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences,” states Prof. Dr Carsten Könneker, Managing Director of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung. “Last but not least, the corona pandemic has again reminded us how essential face-to-face meetings are and how productive direct dialogue with others is. The AudimaX will offer the perfect conditions for such dialogue.”

“Semper Apertus – always open to innovation: Heidelberg University has been that for 634 years. That takes personal dialogue – even and especially in the digital age. With the AudimaX, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung is giving the university and its students a living, breathing centre on the Neuenheimer Feld campus that exemplifies a communication, teaching and learning place of the future,” states Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg Minister for Science, Research and the Arts.

Gisela Splett, State Secretary of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance, adds: “The plans are now becoming physical reality. Thanks to the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the students and teachers at Heidelberg University will find optimal conditions in the new building. I am also pleased that the state’s energy standards are being implemented – for example, a photovoltaic system with 40 kilowatts of peak power will be installed on the roof.”

The Rector of Ruperto Carola, Prof. Dr Bernhard Eitel, commends the outstanding commitment of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, which opens up “grand perspectives” to Heidelberg University. “A spacious and state-of-the-art lecture hall and learning centre on the Neuenheimer Feld campus is long-cherished dream of the university.” A place for teaching and dialogue such as this is an expression of Ruperto Carola’s self-concept that outstanding research is inconceivable without forward-looking instruction, according to the Rector. “Thanks to the support of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, we are able to set an example here and create a model infrastructure for our students.”

The AudimaX will be open to all students during and outside of regular lecture hours. The Klaus Tschira Stiftung is not only constructing the building for the university, it is also equipping portions of the lecture halls, learning areas, foyer, exhibit areas, and the library. Energy efficiency, sustainability, and state-of-the-art technology and materials will lend the new lecture hall and learning centre special value and meet the changing requirements for communication, teaching, and learning.

Minister Bauer will open the groundbreaking ceremony, with additional words of welcome to follow from State Finance Secretary Splett and the Rector of the university. Other speakers include Prof. Dr Eckart Würzner, Lord Mayor of the city of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr Carsten Könneker of the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, and the design architect.

Note to news desks:     
The groundbreaking ceremony for the AudimaX will take place on 8 October 2020 at 11am at the building site located at Im Neuenheimer Feld 289. Because of corona regulations, only a limited number of places are available for invited guests. Media representatives are therefore requested to submit a binding registration along with their name to

presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

by 6 October 2020.

The Klaus Tschira Foundation

The German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung supports natural sciences, mathematics and computer science and the appreciation of these subjects. It was founded in 1995 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940–2015) by private means. Its three priorities are: education, research and science communication. This commitment begins in kindergarten and continues in schools, universities and research institutions throughout Germany. The foundation advocates the dialogue between science and society.