Student centre, Rotterdam

An amazing design for a new student centre at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam was unveiled earlier this year.

The student centre is a collaboration between Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond and the resulting design is of a vibrant and central meeting point where research meets business, and science meets culture. Sustainability, usability, transparency and intimacy were the main objectives for the design of this innovative space.

According to Nanne de Ru of Powerhouse Company, they’ve designed a building which will fit logically in the layout of the student centre’s master plan – one that will stimulate spontaneous use because it seamlessly connects to the surrounding public area.

A logistical core is located in the centre of the building and is enclosed by a range of public spaces. Powerhouse Company and De Zwarte Hond also designed a multipurpose auditorium that offers room for lectures, performances and debates. By positioning the compact logistic core in the centre of the building, they were able to create a façade that’s transparent on all sides.

Transparent and intimate

The centre’s mood can be transformed in an instant: opening or closing the dynamic lamellas can determine how much daylight enters in. On the one hand this will lead to reduced energy consumption but it will also enable users to adjust the level of intimacy within the building. Because the appearance of the building changes, the lively nature of the student centre is evident.

To make the building more sustainable, the designers researched and incorporated various measures. They plan to implement a triple layer of insulation for the transparent façade and a compact building volume. The building will also be equipped with dynamic blinds, natural and demand-driven ventilation and flexible zoning. 

Construction will start in 2012 and the student centre is expected to open at the end of 2013. 

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