InformatiKOM officially opened: New buildings combine computer science and science communication

  • author:

    Aileen Seebauer

  • place:

    KIT press release 090/2023

  • date: 09.11.2023

InformatiKOM officially opened: New buildings combine computer science and science communication

Klaus Tschira Foundation hands over two institute buildings at KIT South Campus

With InformatiKOM on Adenauerring, the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) has constructed two new buildings for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) over a three-year construction period, which were officially opened today (November 9, 2023). Covering more than 10,000 square meters, they will bring together institutes of computer science, science communication and applied cultural studies under one roof. The focus is on exchange and encounters between science and the public.

You can find more photos from the event and shots of the building in this album

"We are convinced that education and research in and from computer science are central to the future of our society," says Professor Rafael Lang, Managing Director for Research at the Klaus Tschira Foundation. "The intertwining of research and science communication was the greatest motivation for us to make InformatiKOM possible. We are creating first-class learning and research conditions here."

"InformatiKOM at KIT stands for highly relevant scientific tasks, both in terms of construction and content: the new building promotes interdisciplinary dialog and transfer to society. Under one roof, InformatiKOM combines computer science institutes with science communication and applied cultural studies facilities - with the aim of transferring interdisciplinary findings to urban society," says Petra Olschowski, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg. "The combination of education, research and science communication is also a central concern of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, whose generous support has made it possible to realize InformatiKOM. As a place for research and dialog, I wish InformatiKOM and everyone who is shaping the future here every success and lots of ideas."

"With InformatiKOM, we are reaching another milestone not only in interdisciplinary teaching and research at KIT, but especially in the dialog with society that is so important to us," says Professor Oliver Kraft, representing the President of KIT. "With the facilities that are united here under one roof and the open spaces, citizens can participate even better in science and provide important impulses. We would like to thank the Klaus Tschira Foundation for its great commitment."


Image: KIT

"Sustainability is a particular concern for our land and buildings. I am delighted that InformatiKOM is making an important contribution to this with the BNB sustainability seal. The clever integration of the new buildings will organize and enhance the existing urban situation. The powerful ensemble of buildings points the way to the campus. This creates the desired connection with the city, which we are also striving for in other places," says Ursula Orth, Head Building Director of the Karlsruhe Office of the Baden-Württemberg State Office for Property and Construction.

"InformatiKOM takes the idea of a dialogical approach between science and society to a completely new dimension by involving all citizens. This corresponds exactly to the goals that the City of Karlsruhe is also pursuing with its science office, namely: that science can intensively discuss its important issues and research results with society," says Karlsruhe's Lord Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup.

10,000 square meters for exchange and encounters

InformatiKOM forms the central entrance to the extension of KIT's South Campus in the immediate vicinity of the main entrance to the South Campus, the KIT library and the Audimax. With the two parts of the building, the Klaus Tschira Foundation has provided KIT with a total of around 10,000 square meters of institute and learning space. Users of the larger InformatiKOM 1 building include the Robot Design Atelier, the Science-Media-Communication degree program, the Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Studium Generale (ZAK) and the National Institute for Science Communication (NaWik), in addition to computer science institutes. The smaller adjacent building InformatiKOM 2 houses the Center for Digital Accessibility and Assistive Technologies, ACCESS@KIT for short.

The two parts of the building were designed by Darmstadt-based architecture firm Bernhardt + Partner Architekten in such a way that they promote encounters between computer science and science communication as well as exchanges with the public. The two-storey laboratory for measurement and control technology, which is located in the center of the building, is designed in such a way that visitors can gain an insight into the scientific work of robotics through a glazed area on the first floor. Three wide foyer staircases connect the open room areas from the first floor to the third floor and also serve as seating areas. The lower foyer staircase will also be used as a grandstand for public lectures and events. The open atrium with a transparent air cushion roof, which connects all floors and learning areas, also creates free space for encounters. The two InformatiKOM buildings were donated by the Klaus Tschira Foundation to the state of Baden-Württemberg, which in turn has given them to KIT for use.