The design of a major new campus building at the University of Tilburg has been shortlisted for the BREEAM Awards 2018 in the ‘Public Sector Project – Design’ category. The Education and Self Study Centre (OZC), also known as Cube, is scheduled to welcome students from September 2018 onwards.
Designed by KAAN Architecten, the new building comprises a floor area of 11,000 square metres. It will be home to better facilities for students and as a result increase the quality of education. Like several other buildings on campus, the design of the OZC has a square shape and is relatively low which ensures a good fit within the surroundings and among the trees.
Ample daylight and quite marked openness with radical views through the structure make the building merge with its environment. The study spaces are enclosed in a green setting, as an opening in the woods. The OZC will support all faculties within the university and so will be continuously busy with up to 2500 students and educators all connected to each other thanks to the new building spaces. In order to safeguard its openness and avoid feeling crowded, the building has been given extra berth. All the spaces, including the corridors, are wide, light and tall – up to six meters high.
The plans include a large number of study coves and group areas of different dimensions, as well as various lecture rooms that will be equipped with all the necessary IT and communication tools. The auditorium has been given a central and sunken position so that the building retains transparent passages from one end to another.
Reflecting on the BREEAM recognition, architect Timo Cardol said:
“The CUBE, being a multifunctional cross-faculty educational building for Tilburg University, is pre-eminently a representative building meant for the society of tomorrow. Therefore KAAN Architecten, in close association with the University, felt the intrinsic social responsibility to design and develop, also technically, a durable and sustainable building.
“The aim was set from the start to achieve a BREEAM Excellent building. As the design gradually developed the team felt both the need and the enthusiasm to push even further to exceed the expectations where possible.
“The most important thing is in line with our point of view on social responsibility: being shortlisted will contribute to more awareness of sustainability. In this sense, it has meaning for the Tilburg University community as a place where people come together, reflect and position themselves on the future on the one hand. On the other hand this creates awareness for other university communities in the Netherlands and abroad on the strategy for campus real estate development. Being an important cross-faculty building on the university campus, it underlines a crucial social and sustainable development that allows a more compact university campus with less build surface.”
KAAN Architecten is a Rotterdam and Sao Paulo based architectural firm led by Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen and Dikkie Scipio. The studio consists of an international team of architects, urban planners, engineers and graphic designers.