Furniture for the Welfenschloss

© Foto: Julian Martitz

Within the scope of the seminar "A Furniture for the President" in the winter semester 2016 at the Institute of Design and Construction, student concepts for furnishing the atrium in the main building of Leibniz University were developed. The atrium of the Welfenschloss serves both as a regular venue for semester openings, knowledge forums and representative New Year's and business receptions and as a reception hall and daily meeting place in the centre of the main building.


The university management hoped that the seminar would provide feasible furnishing suggestions for improving the presentation and event situation in the atrium. Following the series of events, a jury of several members, including professors of the faculty, chair staff, university employees, external professional designers and the university president Prof. Dr. Volker Epping, decided which of the numerous student ideas should be realised.
The jury was convinced by the concept of a multifunctional bench, which meets the changing requirements of temporary events in a versatile way and also contributes to a permanent furnishing and animation of the atrium.


In the following semesters, in close cooperation with Professor Michael Schumacher and Michael Vogt from the Department of Building Construction as well as with master carpenter Johannes Dehne from the Institute for Professional Studies in Civil Engineering, the concept idea was further developed into a mature furniture design. Various prototypes were made and material samples were taken with the president and representatives of the university's building department. The subsequent series production of the 16 pieces in total was ensured by the support of the Institutes of Professional Sciences in Civil Engineering, of Radioecology and Radiation Protection, of Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics as well as the Department of Structural Engineering of the Institute of Design and Construction in the university's own workshops.



The design of the multifunctional furniture is based on the reduced colour scheme of the atrium and its striking floor motif. Thus, its elegant appearance and high-quality workmanship match the representative shape of the Guelph Castle. Arranged in pairs, the benches form approximately three metre long, leather-upholstered seats that invite you to linger, read and work.

The benches can be moved and rearranged by a single person by means of a rollable base that can be extended with specially designed tools if required. By turning the removable covers over, the benches can be converted into stage platforms in a few easy steps and offer the university a variety of new applications for presentations, lectures or panel discussions. In addition, the stable ash wood construction allows two or even three podiums to be stacked on top of each other. The resulting table or counter height is ideal for use at banquets, buffets or champagne receptions.

The new atrium furniture has been in use since 2019. A public inauguration by Prof. Dr. Volker Epping took place during the New Year reception.


Nils Klinkmann, a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, was responsible for the planning and production of the furniture. Contact can be made with the dean's office.

Text: M.Sc. Nils Klinkmann
Photos: M.Sc. Julian Martitz