Modernisation timeline


  • October: Ceremony to open the building on 12 October 2015
  • July: The University Library is open to the public on a trial basis on 21 July 
  • The building is handed over to the University of Freiburg on 30 June 2015
  • June: The move into the building begins on 22 June 2015
  • January: Technical installations


  • December: Interior fixtures are completed
  • November: Furnishing begins


  • June 2012 to April 2013: Phase 2 of the structural work with construction of the upper ceilings on the first to the sixth floors
  • 16 April 2013: Ceremony to mark the completion of the structural work
  • Façade assembled from April 2013
  • Technical and interior work


The structural work begins in January 2012.

  • First of all, the underground floors are structurally reinforced through the installation of new push-pull props and diaphragm beams
  • The steel reinforcement for the book collection must have a clearance measuring at least 70 cm in width from the concrete at the joints between old and new concrete ceilings and walls. A specialised procedure involving high-pressure water jets is used to avoid damaging the steel reinforcement.
  • The ceiling above floor -1 near the shaft of the former underground garage can be concreted over once the edges have been prepped.
  • A ramp is created for the new bicycle garage.
  • The upper floors are constructed as a conventional new build: beams and ceilings on each floor are alternately cast in concrete to form the shape of the new building.
  • To ensure that the books can be moved around, a builder’s hoist is constructed in the shaft of the new goods lift in July 2012. The lifts that had previously been in constant operation are decommissioned and either completely renovated or replaced. The access and escape routes for the library staff who are still working in the stacks must be continuously adjusted to the current situation on the building site.


The demolition works begin,

  • with controlled demolition right down to the sound, economically viable building foundations. Large-scale equipment is used here. The material is sorted and transported from the building site via the ring road.
  • The shape and size of the underground floors, which comprise around 50% of the building’s volume, are kept intact. The shaft of the underground garage is the only feature to be removed.
  • The demolition is complete by the end of 2011.


Harmful substances (asbestos and man-made mineral fibres) are safely disposed of and the entire interior, including the built-in technology, is dismantled, sorted by material and removed right down to the concrete frame.

Various safety measures are performed throughout the building works to protect staff and the books in the underground stacks, as well as to keep transport logistics running.


Preparations begin:

  • Closure and demolition of the former underground garage on floor -1
  • Construction of a temporary ventilation system for the underground stacks
  • Demolition of the pedestrian bridge
  • Relocation of the core technology (4 transformers, a refrigeration machine, heat exchanger and distributor) from the ground floor to floor -1
  • Construction of a deep well between University Buildings I and IV (KG I and KG IV). The water supply from the new well can already be used to cool the University Library’s stacks and the lecture theatres in KG I.


In September/October, the University Library (except for the underground stacks) is moved into the two temporary library buildings – University Library 1 (Stadthalle Freiburg, a former concert hall on Schwarzwaldstraße) and University Library 2 (the former Schluchseewerk AG building on Rempartstraße).


The relocation concept is implemented:

  • The former Stadthalle concert hall building is rented and renovated as an interim library
  • Schluchseewerk AG’s former office building is purchased and renovated for the admin staff
  • The building at Werthmannstraße 14 is renovated


The design by architecture firms DEGELO ARCHITEKTEN and Itten+Brechbühl for the redevelopment and restructuring of the library wins the architecture competition.


The (fully air-conditioned) library new build on Rotteckring is purchased for University Library Freiburg.

University of Freiburg