In the near future, the city centre of Eindhoven will be connected to the TU campus with a linear recreational park, following the river Dommel into the natural landscape around Eindhoven. The new building taps into this network. Our design proposal for the transformation of the potential building of TUE follows a three-step strategy to create the ideal conditions to “breed” the Social Engineers of the future in an organically growing community space.
By maximising opportunities for social exchange between students, teachers and visitors of the TUE and University College, our design concept creates a new kind of learning environment that triggers communication and allows to built durable networks of collaboration. A sequence of sky lobbies act as social incubator creating a “Piranesian” like space in the heart of the building.
The building will form the missing link – “as a stepping stone” – between the existing social hubs of the TU/e campus and the Sports centre, extending the public circulation structure of the campus towards and over the river Dommel, improving connectivity within the campus.
We transform the 1st level of the building in a large public pathway, connecting the existing overhead bridges with the new University College, student housing, the cultural program and natural landscape. This new elevated street functions as a cultural ‘mixing chamber’, seducing students, teachers and professionals to meet, engage and explore social and learning activities.
By stratifying the different requested functional zones on top of each other, we create clear and independently functioning zones. These zones are vertically connected through a complex spatial sequence of collective spaces in which educational, socio-cultural and commercial activities support each other.
The existing concrete structure of the building is stripped and reused as a flexible framework in which standard, low-cost student house-containers are placed in diverse spatial configurations.
The spatial flexibility of this concept can generate specific types of student communities and can facilitate the change of use over time. The financial investments are reduced to a minimum.
The facade will express the diversity of student personalities giving them a platform to express themselves by “colonising” the building, shaping its visual identity overtime. This is why we propose a radically flexible and eco-friendly design concept built on the existing concrete structure of the building.
By reducing the climatised zone of the housing zone to that of only the student containers (the building structure is not insulated), the energy use of the building is extremely optimized in time and reduced to a minimum. The rooftop greenhouse is used as a generator for gray water, passive energy (heat recovery) and natural ventilation of the large atrium like spaces below it (so-called chimney effect).
In our vision, the university of the future stands in the heart of society, connects to the inhabitants of the city and incorporates the natural environment within it as a source of inspiration and tranquility.