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uni'alumni 2016

books can be viewed under supervision in the rare book reading room on the fourth floor. The reading rooms provide 1200 workspaces distributed over the first through fourth floors. The fifth floor is reserved primarily for library employees. Most of them work in an open office landscape that encourages exchange while also offering possibilities for concentrated work and private conversations. They have a move behind them, are now in a completely new working environment, and have experienced intense activity from the start: “Our employees have been under a lot of pressure in the past months. It is to their merit that they have kept the UB running smoothly at all times despite this great burden,” says Ohlhoff. Now they are work- ing on improving details in the building – such as the acoustics in areas near the stairs in the reading rooms, where too much noise comes up from the information desk on the ground floor, or the climate control system, which is still being fine-tuned. All things considered, however, the first half year of operation has been a success: University members enjoy using the new UB, and they use it often. “We expect a continuing increase in demand in the future, so we’re planning on offering as many workspaces as possible,” Kellersohn reports. The concept of separating the reading rooms from the Parlatorium has also proved to be a success. How- ever, the UB’s popularity among patrons – an aver- age of 500 come even at night – does have a downside: On some days it gets very crowded, and it can be hard to find a free place to work. However, it was not possible to build a larger library due to legal barriers, says Kellersohn, “and the worst-case scenario would have been if nobody had come.” Revolution in the Media Industry After only three decades of use, the previous UB building was no longer viable. The internal technical systems were outdated, the energy consumption much too high, and the building was contaminated CHRONICLE OF THE RENOVATIONS 2003 Planning begins 2006 Decision in the architectural competition Winner: Degelo Architects with Itten + Brechbühl, Basel, Switzerland 2007 Former municipal concert hall rented and former administrative building of Schluchseewerk AG purchased Both buildings renovated for use as interim facilities 2008 Holdings relocated to interim facilities – except for closed stacks 2009 Former underground garage demolished Bridge to collegiate buildings removed 2010/11 Upper floors demolished 2011/12 Construction of outer shell begins 2013 Outer shell completed Facade and internal interior fittings installed 2014 Last window installed Installation of interior fittings completed, furnishing begins 2015 Opening » 8 Chairs, sofas, media tables: The Parlatorium is the communication zone for group work. Photos: Sandra Meyndt