| Forschung, Hochschule, Zentrale Veranstaltungen


In the presence of Thuringia's Minister of Infrastructure Susanna Karawanskij, Minister of Finance Heike Taubert and State Secretary for Science Carsten Feller as well as other guests from science, politics, business and society, the University of Erfurt officially opened its "Weltbeziehungen" research building today after several years of construction.

entrance to the "Weltbeziehungen" research building
entrance to the "Weltbeziehungen" research building

The new building provides the University with an urgently needed coherent structural unit on campus for research under the topic of the comparative cultural analysis of "Weltbeziehungen" (our relationships to the world), the primary goal of which is to counter Eurocentric and cognitively narrowed perspectives with innovative perspectives and thus make a contribution to dealing with socially relevant problems of the present.

The new research building 'Weltbeziehungen' represents an important structural development step for the University of Erfurt and underlines its self-image as a research institution. The name of the new building is well and programmatically chosen, because it is about relating our thinking to the world. With 4,000 square metres and 169 workplaces, the building offers excellent opportunities to ask the pressing questions of our time. It offers the most modern working conditions and enables contemporary forms of communication. The federal government, the state and the university have invested a total of around 20 million euros in the new building. The building 'Weltbeziehungen' is an asset for Erfurt, the University of Erfurt and building culture in Thuringia." Minister Susanna Karawanskij (Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture Thuringia).

The new building sets trendsetting accents in university construction because it is consistently designed for different forms of academic work and communication. It is an important structural development step for the University of Erfurt. It stands out in the building ensemble of the campus and conveys a transparency through the external design of the facade with the numerous large-format windows and the workplaces behind it, which continues inside the building. The large staircase with landings on which people can linger not only invites them to have short conversations, but can also be used for (lecture) events. The "think cells", smaller workrooms, offer the opportunity for undisturbed work on one's own project. There are also larger rooms for teamwork and meetings. In addition, there are office rooms and also open meeting spaces that allow for casual and informal communication. Large seminar rooms are available on the ground floor for colloquia and lectures. With 4,000 square metres of space, the building offers around 170 workplaces.

This building will undoubtedly be a centre of intellectual exchange and collaboration, offering scholars from all over the world the opportunity to work together on groundbreaking projects. It will take research into the complex relationships between different cultures, countries and societies one step further." Minister Heike Taubert (Ministry of Finance Thuringia).

"The new research building is built entirely with today's working needs and forms of communication in mind, and at the same time represents our self-image as a research institution," explains Professor Walter Bauer-Wabnegg, President of the University of Erfurt. "The local consolidation of supra-regionally significant research in the thematic interplay of different institutions thus enables our university to consolidate and strengthen its approach on campus, which has been geared towards a world view since its foundation. Accordingly, in addition to the funding from the federal and state governments, it has made a high financial contribution of its own – even foregoing other things – in order to strengthen and underline its special profile with this research building, which is central in terms of content, and an integrative research approach to world-related questions and projects."

The thematic fields that will be explored in the new research building 'Weltbeziehungen' are wide-ranging. What they all have in common is that they touch on decisive elements of a peaceful, sustainable society. Thus, this building can certainly be understood as a statement for civility. The 6.7 million euros in funding with which the Free State supported the total construction costs are therefore money very well spent and a worthwhile investment in Thuringia's educational landscape." State Secretary Carsten Feller (Thuringian Ministry for Economis Affairs, Science and Digital Society)

A particular benefit and effect is created by the local proximity and networking of various institutions working on the topic from the breadth of the university. The Max-Weber-Kolleg as Institute for Advanced Study, the Institute for Planetary Health Behaviour founded in 2022 and the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy deserve special mention. In addition, the DFG-funded research group "Voluntariness" and the Theological Research Centre, two research networks that have attracted academic attention far beyond Erfurt, will work in the building. This means that researchers from all four faculties and the Max-Weber-Kolleg are represented in the research building. This is an extraordinary benefit for the use of the building for research communication on campus.

"The 'Research Building' programme, in which the Science Council plays a major role through its evaluations, is a competitive procedure that sets very high standards for the scientific preliminary work and the supraregional significance of the projects. Against this backdrop, the scientists involved in this research construction deserve all of our great appreciation for their success." Thomas May (Secretary General of the Science Council)

In 2016, the Science Council had endorsed the construction of the research building. Planning for the building began in 2017. The Munich-based architectural firm Obermeyer Planen + Beraten GmbH was awarded the contract. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in October 2019. Due to the pandemic and the associated interruption of supply chains in the construction sector, the completion of the building could not be realised in 2021, contrary to the plans. The building was completed in the summer of 2023. With the start of the winter semester, all "resident" groups have now moved in and started their work in the research building. The costs for the new building amount to around 20 million euros.

New publication

Just in time for the inauguration of the research building "Weltbeziehungen", a book entitled "Weltbeziehung. The Study of our Relationship to the World" was published – edited by Bettina Hollstein, Hartmut Rosa and Jörg Rüpke from the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt.

link to the publication

Impressions of the ceremonial inauguration of the research building "Weltbeziehungen"

Eröffnung / Einweihung Forschungsbau Weltbeziehungen

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