Ruhr-Universität Bochum

As one of the largest universities in Germany, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has asserted itself as a major institution within the education sector. The campus expanded in autumn 2018 with several new buildings, increasing the total area to 49,000 square metres. Furnishing the buildings with new office furniture was an unusual project for both ASSMANN and its business partner Lapp GmbH.

For 43,000 students and almost 6,000 employees, RUB is a place for education and socialising. They all need space to live, learn and teach, but this space was increasingly in short supply due growing numbers of enrolments, so the university expanded in 2018. The psychology and economics faculties, for example, found new homes in two new buildings. In addition to state-of-the-art seminar rooms and lecture theatres, there was space to rest, learn and work in the new canteens, multi-level specialist libraries and the offices accommodating the majority of university staff. Around 1,600 new rooms were built in total, and all came equipped with practical furniture systems. Furnishing rooms from scratch on this scale required an experienced partner, that’s why the project managers decided to collaborate with ASSMANN and Lapp GmbH. “This is the largest order in the history of ASSMANN,” reveals Axel Ellermann, Key Account Manager at the company. His job is to work with industrial and service companies. He took care of the project on behalf of ASSMANN together with his colleague Tobias Kirtz from the project management department. Whether it was shelving, desks or lounge pieces, a great deal of furniture for the new buildings came from Melle.

Highly involved
 
The team in charge of the project got the university staff involved in planning their offices to ensure that the new spaces were adequately furnished. This created a concept whereby every room was unique, but they were all furnished exactly how the staff wanted. Lecturers from the faculty of law, for example, required plenty of cabinets and shelves to store their books and files, while other employees preferred to work on larger desks as they used two monitors, or because their work was more hands on. This approach did involve an increased workload for the project team, but their efforts paid off in the end. It meant that every university employee received an office tailored to them and how they work. Rondana was the system of choice when it came to deciding on the right desks as these customisable systems allow the available space in the room to be used to its full potential. To neatly sort the large mountains of files and extensive book collections, customised Allvia shelves and cabinets were used and complemented by Pontis mobile pedestal, Offering adequate storage space tailored to staff needs. Syneo lounge furniture in the break and meeting rooms created a comfortable space for staff to sit and exchange ideas: With the their cutting-edge design and fabric surfaces, they’re not just visually arresting, they also create spaces for users to communicate and work in peace. Both staff and students at RUB benefit from the new furnishings As many of the ASSMANN furniture solutions were also installed in the seminar rooms. Eager learners can tuck themselves away in the libraries to work on one of the Solos desks shielded by a Viteco partition wall. These walls create some privacy and feature sound-absorbing properties. When students meet for a coffee, there’s functional furniture for them to gather around, such as high tables in the canteen. ASSMANN furnishing concepts specific to the different spaces allowed for the creation of places to rest and relax with attractive modern designs. 

Communication as a recipe for success

Due to the sheer number of pieces of furniture, the order information was checked not once, not twice, but three times to ensure it was executed flawlessly. Furniture systems were delivered over the course of two months, with every delivery right on schedule. Once on site, they were sorted by floor and were assembled in a set room order. The rooms were furnished in no time, and RUB staff could continue to work without being disturbed by the assembly of furniture happening simultaneously. ASSMANN and Lapp also worked well together: “We always kept each other up to date about the progress of the project, meaning everyone was always aware of what was to be done and when. It made the planning super easy for us,” says Lapp Managing Director, Wolfgang Kuhlmann. The premises were completed and made ready for use to coincide with the start of the winter semester, allowing teaching to start as scheduled on 8 October 2018. “We stuck to the schedule precisely. It was a great way for everyone to start the new semester,” smiles Tobias Kirtz from ASSMANN.

Brief:

Together with Lapp GmbH, ASSMANN was tasked with furnishing 1,600 rooms with furniture systems, which were to be customised to suit the individual needs of staff and students at RUB.  

Challenge:

There was a strict schedule for delivering and assembling the furniture, and all needed to be completed by the start of the semester.

Project:

Furnishing two new buildings on the university campus

Specialist retail partner:

Lapp GmbH, Hagen

Client details:

With 43,000 students and 20 different faculties, RUB is one of the largest universities in Germany.