New multipurpose educational building
Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Executive Board is investing in a sustainable and future-proof Woudestein Campus under the slogan ‘Building new perspectives’. One such ‘perspective’ is a new multipurpose educational building to be built next to the Polak Building.
It will be six storeys high and state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability and circularity. One of its unique features will be a revolutionary new ventilation system, using wind and solar energy. Ultimately, the new multipurpose educational building will house lecture halls, teaching rooms, workspace for the Erasmus Magazine, a public café, a lounge area, a quiet centre and plenty of study space for around 3,000 students from various faculties. The building should be in use by the academic year 2022-2023.
Circularity & sustainability
The new educational building – covering some 8,500 m² (91,500 sq ft) – embraces principles of circularity, which will make it one of the most sustainable university buildings in the Netherlands. For instance, as much recycled material from EUR buildings and other sources will be used in its construction as possible. And its atrium will be built using timber from a nature conservation area protected by the Dutch forestry commission (Staatsbosbeheer).
The building will also be 100% energy neutral, as it will generate its own power using roof-mounted solar panels and a heat pump. The roof also serves as a water buffer in the event of heavy rainfall, making it ready for changing climate conditions.
Indoors, a wide variety of plants and green walls in the atrium give the building a very natural, refreshing look and feel. And a unique feature of the building is its innovative and revolutionary natural ventilation system that will provide a healthier environment for students and staff to work in.
Paul de Ruiter Architects – an authority in sustainable buildings – first entered into a dialogue with the EUR and its students. They then incorporated all their needs and requirements into the design of a contemporary building that maintained a natural connection with the campus and the adjacent Polak Building. Transparent facades provide both natural light and connection with its surroundings. Plenty of greenery and wooden elements also give a warm, pleasant ambiance. The use of wide spans without columns creates wide, open, unobstructed floor areas, making the building’s layout clear, convenient and flexible. All in all, these factors will create a more pleasant environment in which EUR students, staff and visitors will be able to study, work and relax.
This project adds impetus to our goal of creating a sustainable, lively campus that’s closely connected to and with the city while still providing international appeal.
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