Education thrives in a quiet environment. This is particularly the case when the educational establishment offers not only modern seminar and conference rooms, but also a hotel, restaurant and various leisure facilities. The new education centre of IG Metall in Sprockhövel, built to a design by pbr AG, includes all facilities needed for modern learning. In 1971, IG Metall opened what – at the time – was the largest education centre in the Federal Republic. Having welcomed 500,000 guests, the need for a new building became more and more pressing. The new education centre in Sprockhövel was completed in March 2011 and offers space for 20,000 seminar participants per year.
The education centre is located on a green clearing surrounded by dense woodland. The site of the former building has been turned into open parkland with generous meadow areas. The new building in this attractive environment consists of three tracts and has been designed on the basis of a modular grid. The north wing, with its five storeys, runs parallel to the street. In combination with the three-storey south wing, it forms a 45° angle and encloses a single-storey entrance hall. The most striking feature of the building’s elevation is its white rendered facade with mostly full storey-high individual windows. The plinth storey with its natural stone facade contrasts with the upper floors. As the building is sited on sloping terrain, there is a high-quality lower floor at garden level which benefits from natural lighting. In the area of the entrance hall, the cafeteria and the restaurant, a large-scale mullion/transom construction was used in order to allow unrestricted views from the inside to the landscaping outside. This feature means that there is a panoramic view over the lower landscaped areas from the foyer and the terrace deck in front of it.
Each part of the building accommodates specific functions. The south wing accommodates the seminar rooms, the north wing the hotel, and the middle zone the entrance area. The entrance hall functions as reception, lobby and foyer and also serves as link between the education tract and the hotel.
The ground floor of the hotel wing has a restaurant with free-flow area and special offer counter, a large room for approx. 450 people and a cafeteria. The upper floors are part of the hotel. The tract has been designed with a double-loaded layout, i.e. rooms either side of a central corridor, and provides 126 rooms of different sizes, as well as a conference room. The garden level accommodates a wellness area with sauna, pool, fitness and gymnastics facilities, which can also be accessed from the hotel rooms via a separate lift. Furthermore, this floor includes a leisure area with bowling alley, billiard tables, darts and table-tennis following on from the wellness area. The 35 group and seminar rooms, as well as offices for the educational establishment, are located in the south wing of the building complex.
The second floor accommodates offices for teachers and lecturers. In addition, the lower level of the south wing contains a library and a day-care facility for children. The new education centre in Sprockhövel combines further education with leisure facilities in a modern setting, thus continuing the IG Metall philosophy of shared learning and of exchange.