Virtual Engineering Competence Centre, Mannheim Read more

© Thomas Ott
© Marcus Ebener

The new Competence Centre for Virtual Engineering was built on the campus of the University of Applied Sciences across from the premises of cooperative–partner John Deere. The core of the Competence Centre is a so–called cave that is used for three–dimensional projections of objects and environments, which are experienced by viewers as if they were real. This cave enabled the play between reality and illusion to become the central topic of design. In developing the glass facade, the familiar pavilion typology obtains three levels of perception: transparency, reflection and projection. Depending on the lighting conditions outside, the view of the building’s interior either becomes visible, is replaced by the reflection of the exterior environment or is overlain with projections, which are cast on the the window panes from inside. This one–storey pavilion is articulated by different–sized cubes, whose elementary form and dark surface stand in stark contrast to the light–coloured floor and make the pavilion appear as an abstraction of real space. The cave’s structural shell is embedded in the ground and stands out above the pavilion’s roof plane. A visitor area, multimedia room, university office and student workroom supplement the space.


Exemplary Architecture in Mannheim 2013–2020, Distinction from the Chamber of Architects of Baden-Württemberg
Hugo Häring Award from BDA Baden-Württemberg 2017

Competition 1st Prize, 2011
Client Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg, Amt Mannheim
Planning started 2012
Completion 2014
Usable floor area 400 sim

Project Management: Petra Wäldle
Team: Ivan Kaleov

Planning and Realization
Project Coordination: Thomas Schmidt
Project Management: Lukas Oelmüller
Deputy Project Management: Noah Grunwald
Team: Sabine Zoske, Johannes Gotaut, Manuela Jochheim

Local Construction Management: Hartmann Hauß Architekten, Heidelberg
Marcus Ebener, Thomas Ott