Architect Paul de Ruiter asked students what they’d like to see more of in their study areas. Their answer: greenery. And the students got what they asked for – in spades. Looking at the artist’s impressions, you’re reminded of the trendy urban jungle that any self-respecting millennial has already been cultivating at home. With hefty planters in the common areas, which are visually extended to the area around the building (albeit with glass in-between), lots of wood and a verdant awning along the façade. And landscape architect Harro has explicitly opted for flora native to the Rotterdam region. Like the yellow anemone, wild garlic and the mock strawberry.
Both in terms of its functions and its overall design, the new 8,500-m² building could be called an updated version of its future neighbour the Polak Building – which was also designed by De Ruiter, incidentally. Like Polak, the new ‘multipurpose education centre’ features an open atrium that will mainly serve as a meeting area. This part of the building also has the most greenery.
The ground floor will include rooms for collaborative projects as well as the building’s ‘Living Room’, which students with questions and problems relating to their mental health can visit for support (where required, under the supervision of trained professionals). A similar facility is currently found in the Tinbergen Building, but “it is not yet clear whether the Living Room in the new building will completely replace the existing one in Tinbergen. This also depends on how the renovations of the Tinbergen Building go,” says Marijke Weustink, the University’s Director of Real Estate Services.
40 million euros
Floors one to six will house a variety of teaching rooms. “The higher up you go, the quieter it will be – that’s the basic idea,” says architect Paul de Ruiter. Marcel Quanz of EUR’s Real Estate & Facilities: “These are flexible rooms that can easily be expanded or scaled back with the aid of sliding glass dividers. This makes the building future-proof – in the sense that it can be adapted to whatever teaching format is dominant in a given period. After all, these often change over time.”
According to architect Paul de Ruiter, the new building will be completely energy-neutral: the university’s emphatic wish. The roof will be fitted with solar panels. Its special ventilation system uses the heat of the sun and the wind to ventilate the building itself and is consequently very energy-efficient. According to De Ruiter, its official name is ‘Powered by Nature’. This will be the first education building to rely on this system.
The name of the new building will be announced at a later date, says Weustink. “The total investment in this education building, including construction, will be around 40 million euros. This is completely in line with the Campus in Development programme adopted years ago by EUR’s Executive Board.” The driving of the first pile is scheduled for March, and the project is being handled by Paul de Ruiter Architects in partnership with the contractor BAM.
Correction (4 feb., 9.26 am)
A university employee called the ventilation system the ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’ system in an earlier version of this article, which turns out to be incorrect and has therefore been removed from the story. The only correct designation is ‘Powered by Nature’.