With a symbolic turn of the sod, Angela Dorn, Minister of State for Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts of Hesse, Michael Boddenberg, Minister of Finance of the State of Hesse and University President Hans Reiner Schultz celebrated the start of the construction of the new Beverage Technology Center and a new academic building, marking an important milestone in the development of Hochschule Geisenheim University as a competitive teaching and research center for viticulture, beverage technology and food science. The total costs of around 50 million euros for both new buildings are financed by the HEUREKA university construction program.
“We are investing in our universities and help them expand into new scientific areas so that they can successfully compete on an international level”, said Angela Dorn, Minister of State for Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts of Hesse. “This applies in particular to Hochschule Geisenheim University, which is still quite young but has already earned an excellent international reputation in beverage technology. Throughout all study stages, the university places great emphasis on internationality with a strong research orientation, and focusses on bridging the gap between practical applications and classic university education. The new Beverage Technology Center – unique in Germany's higher education landscape – will provide state-of-the-art facilities for students and doctoral candidates to complete practice-oriented theses. The new academic building is a response to the growing number of students resulting from the introduction of new degree programs. We are looking forward to a colorful scientific mix at Hochschule Geisenheim University that includes a variety of our everyday foods, with a particular focus on sustainability and regional products.”
Michael Boddenberg, Minister of Finance of the State of Hesse: “The two new buildings are part of the comprehensive restructuring and expansion strategy of the university campus. Hochschule Geisenheim University combines research and teaching with practical applications, enabling students to build a long-lasting interdisciplinary network”, explained Boddenberg. “Sustainability is a top priority for the State of Hesse, which is reflected in the architecture of the two new buildings and the teaching strategy of the university.”
The Beverage Technology Center will house lab spaces and research facilities for the practice-oriented training of bachelor's and master's students in all areas of beverage technology, which includes the production of fruit juice, other non-alcoholic beverages, beer and liquors as well as the sensory evaluation of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, students will process coffee and tea and analyze table and drinking waters. The new center will include a warehouse and laboratory for plant extraction as well as a spacious sparkling wine cellar, which will also be used for seminars and classes in Viticulture and Enology and International Wie Business programs. The Rheingau Vocational Schools will use the Beverage Technology Center for the practical training of their specialist class for fruit juice technology.
Additional spaces for teaching will be created in the new academic building. In addition to a lecture hall that accommodates 657 students, four seminar rooms with up to 300 seats will be integrated. The foyer in front of the building can be used as a flexible event location and provides sufficient space for scientific meetings and conferences. For the design of the two new buildings, the Stuttgart-based architectural firm Bez + Kock Architekten Generalplaner GmbH has been selected. The Landesbetrieb Bau und Immobilien Hessen (State Office for Construction and Real Estate, LBIH) is the general contractor.
University President Prof. Dr. Hans Reiner Schultz: “Alongside our good faculty-student ratio, the two new buildings enable us to offer students even better equipment and a high-quality study and research infrastructure. This is how we will make sure that the application-oriented training of future specialists and managers will continue to be based on latest scientific and technical developments, thus making a sustainable contribution to strengthening the beverage and food industry and the green sector.”
At Hochschule Geisenheim University, founded in 2013, around 1,800 students conduct research on the green campus. The ongoing expansion of the university is reflected in the construction of the new academic building, the Beverage Technology Center, and other buildings for the new Food Chain Management and Food Safety programs.