»A lively spot right on the waterfront«

Dr. Felix Schwenke
Mayor of the City of Offenbach

As Mayor of Offenbach, I am delighted that the new building for the HfG Offenbach University of Art and Design is fast becoming a reality and taking shape in the HafenCampus. In an architecture competition held by the State of Hessen, the design by architecture practice Xaveer de Geyter Architects from Brussels together with Topotek 1 Architektur GmbH from Zurich and Berlin emerged the winner.

The jury assessed the competition entries during a two-day jury meeting. The entries were evaluated according to their creative and functional architectural quality, and in relation to criteria such as energy consumption, climate, sustainability, costs and economic viability, fire protection, disabled access, the overall heritage protection conditions, and planning laws. In January 2023, the State of Hessen, the University of Art and Design, and the City of Offenbach were able to present the results of the architecture competition to the general public. This publication showcases not only the winning design, but also the importance of the move, both for the university itself and for the Offenbach Harbor area and the city as a whole.

Over the last few years, the Offenbach Harbor, our former industrial port, has re-emerged as a modern urban microcosm – for work and pleasure, for learning and leisure, for living and enjoying. The neighborhood has swiftly made a name for itself as both an attractive residential and commercial location and as a lively spot for leisure and recreation right on the waterfront. The new district lies at the heart of one of the most dynamic metropolitan regions in Europe, in one of the youngest and most creative cities in Germany. The new university building plays a central role here. In the future, the HfG will connect Offenbach Harbor with the many big and small agencies, studios, and offices in the neighboring Nordend district – a task solved by the winning design in particularly convincing fashion. At the same time, Offenbach Harbor will benefit from the architectural quality of the new university building, while student life will bring new impetus to the neighborhood.

We as the City of Offenbach are closely collaborating with the HfG, and last summer we put that cooperation on a new footing. Over the next five years, our focus here will be on three areas: promoting sustainable mobility, developing the design park on the Innovation Campus, and the further evolution of experimental spatial concepts in the city center. The cooperation agreement bundles these three projects in order to drive them forward and realize them together. This close strategic cooperation is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

I am already looking forward to seeing the new building and the university’s move to Offenbach Harbor!