UNStudio complete energy-generating teaching facility at TU Delft
Interfaculty building provides model for future campus developments
Tenderstream members UNStudio and Arup, with BBN, have completed a new inter-faculty building for TU Delft, which will meet the leading Dutch university’s need for flexible extra teaching space – now and in the future. The energy-generating building is designed to transcend current learning environments, providing a model for new ways of learning and for future campus buildings.
The 8,844 sq m Echo building provides space for lectures and tutorials, group work, project-based teaching, debates and self-study for around 1,700 students by way of the lecture rooms, classrooms and a variety of study spaces. The largest lecture room on the ground floor, which can accommodate 700 people, can be divided into three separate rooms in 15 minutes, enabling multiple lectures or events to take place simultaneously. A similar movable wall system is used in the mixed didactic space on the first level, while more than 300 study spaces throughout the building can be used for group work and self-study. A modular wall system in the office spaces allows for future changes to the layout, including the possibility of transformation into teaching spaces.
The design supports the contemporary culture of 'Everything Anywhere', which holds in-between spaces as important areas where physical movement is stimulated. Echo therefore also provides space for unstructured time: a variety of platforms for reflection, inspiration and communication. An adjacent square continues through the transparent ground floor of the building and connects with the street on the other side, turning the ground floor of Echo into a covered public square and a public connector that makes the invisible world of learning a visible and engaging experience.
Echo will provide more energy than it requires for its daily operations, through the use of 1200 solar panels, smart installations, effective insulation and a heat and cold storage system. This energy creation includes electricity consumption for laptops, lighting and catering, while 90% of the furniture in the building has been reused.
Ben van Berkel, UNStudio founder and principle architect, stated: "The Echo building teaches by example. In this highly compact building, the use of space is maximised, while bringing students from different disciplines in closer contact. Not only can they condense their learning experience and learn from each other, but they can also learn from the building itself.”
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