Universitätsbibliothek Bochum

Germany (Bochum) | Education | norament® 926

nora pastille flooring has been installed in the Bochum library since 1973

Classic norament design: stylish and indestructible

Germany, 1973: Willy Brandt is Chancellor, the first episode of “The Show with the Mouse” is playing on TV screens, and the first driving-free Sunday is declared in November, in reaction to the oil crisis. This was also the year when the library at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), which had been housed in various buildings on the campus since its founding in 1962, moved into its new home. Today, the library building is a protected historical monument representing the so-called “brutalist” style. Starting in the 1950s, this architectural style – the term is derived from “béton brut,” the French term for exposed concrete – was heavily influenced by the Swiss-French architect, architectural theorist, and city planner Le Corbusier. During this period, buildings were built all around the world that emphasized the primitive and raw character of concrete. The Bochum university library is a prime example.

It was planned by the architect Bruno Lambart, from Ratingen, during the founding of the university. For the atrium and staircase, the centerpieces of the imposing functional building, the architects deliberately chose an industrial flooring that was both indestructible and, thanks to its extraordinary design, aesthetically striking: norament® 926, from nora systems. The rubber flooring was – like the then still quite young architectural style itself – a new product, and its unusual design perfectly underlined the building concept. Even today, 44 years later, nora® flooring with its characteristic nubs covers about 1,500 square meters of the library’s floor.

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Expectations more than satisfied

The RUB library is one of the largest university libraries in Germany. Combining a central university library and specialist research libraries, it offers users approximately 4.2 million monographs, 6,000 journals, and extensive online offerings. The central university library is open late into the night seven days a week, and receives more than 5,000 visitors every day. Over the years, more than 50 million students, professors, and visitors have walked across the classic “Made in Germany” floors. “In addition to the design aspect, the selection of a durable, long-lasting floor that is fireproof and anti-slip was always a top priority,” says Dr. Erdmute Lapp, Director of the University Library since 1996. Norma Schormann, head of maintenance at IGM (Infrastructural Building Management) in RUB’s dep. 5.1, is also satisfied. “The norament® flooring has completely satisfied all expectations for decades, because it combines high functionality with an attractive appearance that fits the architectural concept – I think the nubs have a cult appeal.” Because nora® floor coverings consist entirely of rubber, their color permeates the entire substance. Thanks to their highly leakproof, sealed surface, they are not only extraordinarily robust and durable, but also never need to be coated. This makes maintenance particularly costeffective – the economic benefits and advantageous life cycle costs of the rubber floors are an important factor, and not only for public buildings.

An authentic material with many advantages

As a homogeneous, authentic material, rubber offers many advantages in libraries – both in terms of high design flexibility, thanks to the variety of colors and patterns, as well as in terms of acoustics. Because of their permanent elasticity, rubber floors reduce walking noise, so that a pleasant soundscape is maintained even in large libraries. Another great advantage: nora® floor coverings contain no chloro-organic compounds and thus meet the highest fire-protection requirements. For the Bochum university library, a place of encounter and culture, nora’s safe, attractive, and classic flooring is therefore an ideal choice.

Data and facts

Building University Library at Ruhr University Bochum
Products norament® 926
Architect Bruno Lambart, Ratingen
Installation Year 1973
Photographer Andreas Braun
Universitätsbibliothek Bochum
Universitätsbibliothek Bochum
Universitätsbibliothek Bochum
Universitätsbibliothek Bochum
Universitätsbibliothek Bochum


norament® 926

Rubber floor covering, 4.0 mm, one-coloured, classic round pastille for use in extremely heavy-traffic areas.

More references

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Many materials, construction methods and techniques for office planning and equipment that were rather advanced for their time were used on the building, which was completed in May 1975.

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norament® 926 satura, Stairtread norament® 926 satura | Education

Urban design meets sustainability – this concept is not only evident in the learning and teaching that takes place at the Schubart Gymnasium school in Aalen. Designed by Liebel/Architekten BDA and opened in 2019, the new construction of the zero-energy classroom block has received ‘Climate Positive’ certification from DGNB and the German Design Award 2021 and has also been nominated for several architectural awards.

The library as a happy place 

norament® 926 grano | Education

Not obsolete, but a model of success: just a few years ago, many experts prophesied the imminent end of libraries as a result of the increasing digitalization of the media. But they couldn’t have been more wrong.

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