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Reutlingen University can look forward to having a new building on the edge of its campus which will cause an architectural stir – the Texoversum. The building donated by the employers’ association Südwesttextil is to become a Europe-wide “beacon of textile training and innovation”. The draft’s characteristic feature is its transparent textile facade, which will be the first of its kind to be realised. The building was developed by a team comprising the three Stuttgart professors Markus Allmann, Achim Menges and Jan Knippers with their architecture firms Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten, Menges Scheffler Architekten and Jan Knippers Ingenieure. The latter two are responsible for the unique facade made of carbon fibres, the robot-based manufacture of which has to date only been used for load-bearing structures for pavilions, such as at Germany’s Federal Garden Show 2019 in Heilbronn. The new build belongs to an ensemble being developed and realised as part of the master plan for the Reutlingen campus. Its corporate architecture is designed to live up to representative as well as functional and aesthetic expectations. “With its novel facade, the building’s exterior demonstrates the innovativeness of the textile industry, while inside, mezzanine work platforms connect all the areas as an open, spatial continuum,” say the team of architects. From autumn 2022, it will serve as a new home to close to 3,000 square metres of workshop and laboratory space, the internationally renowned textiles collection, think tank space and classrooms. It will be a place for students and businesses, entrepreneurs and investors, and industry developers, university researchers and researchers from neighbouring institutions to come together. Trainees will also be given comprehensive training in the textile chain. This will entail Südwesttextil moving the inter-company vocational training previously based at the Gatex training centre in Bad Säckingen in Southern Baden to Reutlingen. “I would like the Texoversum to be a hybrid workshop for the future in which young textile talent is trained, new products and new companies are created and industry can meet science in an even more targeted way,” says the association’s President Bodo Th. Bölzle. It is his hope that this innovative open-space concept will allow Reutlingen to forge a link with the era when it was known as the “Oxford of the textile industry”.

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