Newly built education and reserach building in Brugge
2012-2013, Competition, not selected
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The design for the education and research building has a prominent place on campus. Adjacent to the railway station, it will be the gate to the modernized campus.
In the proposed master plan, the campus lacks a heart. There is no central open space that can be used as an assembly or meeting place. Our design covers part of the car park, transforming it into a multifunctional space. A porch embraces the area and links the bicycle parking area with the entrance. The space in the middle – the parking zone – thus generates a lot of potential.
The campus has been given a central space.
By responding to the various flows of traffic in the area, a suitable entrance has been created for every user. The porch indicates the student entrance. A shallow set of steps marks the pedestrian access from the station. The loading and unloading zone was hidden at the parking area side.
The deepened section constitutes the foundation. It has a massive construction. Staircases and surfaces that are connected to it, are all made from the same decorative concrete. The base is moulded into a plinth, thus creating a solid foundation for a polyvalent building.
The structural work consists of prefabricated hollow-core concrete floors and a trellis of columns. The central staircase constitutes the heart of the project. The stairwell is wider than the stairway and widens towards the top. This ensures maximum daylight access and ventilation, as well as animating the building. Apart from the staircase, the core of the building consists of a double elevator shaft, toilet facilities, and a broadly dimensioned wiring duct, suitable for the school’s research programme.
The building’s new structure is outlined in the facade. All floors extend outside, to offer the appropriate amount of shelter on the sunny side. Depending on their orientation, there is a greater or lesser overhang. They also serve as escape routes towards the staircases on the outside of the floors. Setting up the routing and escape routes in this way, allows maximum floor space and a flexible lay-out.
Communal rooms were created at the top of the building. From this floor, students and staff have their breaks while enjoying an uninterrupted view of the conservation area of Bruges.
The building puts itself ‘between’ the campus and the city.
It acts as an interspace and becomes the new central heart of the campus.