How do you make a multifunctional university building with maximum flexibility and international allure?

The Erasmus University in Rotterdam is an internationally orientated top university and due its growing popularity is currently embarking on an ambitious expansion plan that will transform the once isolated modern style campus into a compact stimulating campus within an international and high quality innovation environment. Due to its rapid expansion, Erasmus University is in immediate need of a multifunctional educational buildings that can ambitiously facilitate short term locations for educational departments, contemporary forms of group, new retail amenities and spaces for individual project based learning. On top of this is the possibility that in the future the building could be transformed into student housing.

The new generation campus will be about the meeting of minds in a more urban environment. Our answer to this was to create hyper modernist looking building as an integrated vertical campus that could broadcasts the diversity and vibrancy of it’s programs to the campus and the city. Can a vertically stacked campus concept liberate us from the over control of the central atrium space that is unable to generate a diversity of urban rooms found in a ? Like an integrated vertical campus, the large open spaces allow for connections between faculties, inquiry and future flexibility. Vertical stacked campus is about the incre­ase in the number of different scales found in a education buildings to create more choice in learning spaces.

The design responds to different scales and conditions presented by the surrounding context of the urban Campus where narrow streets define the different elevations and tall urban spaces. Our vision on sustainability is to have as minimum amount of materials as possible and incorporate good design in a simple natural system where flexibility is designed as anticipating functional change in a spatially intelligent way without changing itself. Materiality is about creating with great economy and simplicity a powerful spaciousness to allow each interior to create their own expression The highly visible study rooms are balanced with private acoustically isolated spaces to support different modes of research, study and teaching. Study rooms and open student study spaces are strategically displaced throughout the building to allow for proximity to teaching spaces and research and faculty offices.

Location: Rotterdam - NL
Year: 2013
Competition: Invited competition
Program: Multifunctional accommodation with project based learning spaces, library and resource centers with 500 m2 retail on the ground floor
Client: Erasmus Univeristeit, Rotterdam
Associates: Oever Zaaijer architectuur en stedebouw