Page 1

Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Introduction What’s the use of architecture? What does the faculty of architecture represents? How is it taught here? Witch tools are needed to establish that education? These are the questions that we asked ourselves while developing the concept idea for the new BOUWKUNDE and guided its design. The route leading from experimental architecture theory to a building practice dominated by conventions passes through a twilight zone of concepts and methods. Regardless of whether one opts for a technical, structural, artistic, or traditional approach, the transition from theory to practice demands an intervening step. This step consists of a series of design-related decisions that can be interpreted as the combination of a concept - otherwise defined as the direction that leads to a solution - and a method for converting this solution into concrete rules of play. N.J. Habraken On 13 May 2008 a great building was lost. Is memory will remain in the mind of all the people who experienced it throughout the years. They will cherish and share mental images and experiences of the building with others. It may figure in architecture books, magazines e wallpapers, but for the rest of us (who didn’t have the opportunity to see and explore this building) this will no longer be possible, it as disappeared. It is a sad thought, but on the other hand, it is interesting to realize how much architecture is able to touch us acting like a living organism. Unlike other activities, no matter how much theory is transmitted to a person about a specific building, city or construction method, it seems that we are not able to completely understand it until we have the opportunity to see it for ourselves. Le Corbusier said that architecture is about harmony and mathematic order that is able to touch us, and that is something that cannot be transmitted by speech but only by practical experience. That means that, when a building disappears, it is lost forever, like a person: his teachings remains but the intimate relations that it established with people is lost and can never be repeated. That is why it is so difficult to copy architecture. Like people each building shares common links between one another, it also has a specific conjugation of form, dimensions, proportions that make it unique and makes the experience of it unique for each person who visits it. On the other hand, it’s this same ability to communicate to each person differently that makes architecture so inspiring to others leading to new and innovative achievements. In this case, the end of the BOUWKUNDE (the one that lasted for almost 40 years) is the beginning for a new building, a new approach, a new set of experiences based on the same basic principles and tools that have ruled architecture and allow us to understand/teach/live this activity. AN END AS A START

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Theme 2 – Dynamic of city and campus Before moving into the university campus the faculty of architecture was located in the city centre. The majority of the student and teaching body feel nostalgic with that previous location, probably because architecture is a very urban activity that tends to be attracted by the movement of the city centre. It inspires architectural activity, research and development. When the new building for BOUWKUNDE was concluded (in 1970) it lied on the edge of the university campus; away form the heart of the city and away from other institutions. It might have been difficult to reach that location (walking) or to leave it late at night. It was completely peripheral. However, today the BOUWKUNDE does not have to move to another location, because everything else has moved towards it. Nowadays, BOUWKUNDE lies in a central location towards city and expanding campus. The new Mekelpark by Mecanoo unifies the central area of the campus providing qualified public space for academic population. The area occupied by BOUWKUNDE has a magnificent green surrounding, completely encircled by vegetation including an ecological area – setting the perfect scenery for any building - appealing for the establishment of a close relationship with the outside environment. Mekelpark starts in front of AULA congress centre and ends in front of BOUWKUNDE – the building gains a new importance in this design closing the central public space. We believe that teaching of architecture should be based on a (mostly) informal relation between teacher and student and based on the exchange of thoughts and ideas through the stimulation of social contact. The new building should be very “open/public” with a strong informal environment and all kinds of events going on at all times. The location of the new “open/public” BOUWKUNDE in the opposite end of Mekelpark, helps balance the buildings distribution with accentuated public character - AULA Congress Centre and TU Delft Library on one end and BOUWKUNDE, the Sport Centre and Cultural Centre on the other – helping the establishment of an homogenous distribution of academic population through the continuous public space. This location also establishes a transition between the academic world of the campus and the corporate or professional world of the Business Campus and TNO Complex. This proximity is very important for the Faculty of Architecture because allows a greater interaction between students and the corporate world helping them to understand the dynamics of companies and, on the other end, help companies understand the importance of architecture to bring more adequate, suitable answers to their needs. The proximity with other faculties related to the art and construction area like Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, EEMCS generates fruitful interaction and should not be broken. The site also has good accessibility with a parking lot for 400 cars, direct access to the highway, tram stop in 2010 (right in front of the site) and connections to most bicycle routes that crosses the campus. We do not see any reason to change the location of the faculty of architecture now that it as reached a privileged centrality: that goes along with it’s needed public character. Architecture is part art, part science and that results in a very peculiar spirit – the need to experience and “practice theory” makes it very social and outgoing. Most of the times learning comes from observing and gaining inspiration from the outside world, then enclosing ourselves to practice what we’ve learned. Normally architecture faculties are always full of events and happenings that attract outsiders, but also full off people

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START practicing day and night making it “alive” not only during day but also during night (unlike other faculty buildings). Moving the building from the actual site would weaken both BOUWKUNDE and the University Campus because the relations that it has established and consolidated through the years would be lost and have to start from scratch, with no prediction for success like it has achieved so far.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Theme 1 – new concepts What is the purpose of architecture in today’s world? It is to use several tools like mathematics and geometry, construction methods and materials gathered in our best possible use and abilities to create buildings that enhance our lives (making them beautiful, easier, safer, interesting…better). Architecture merges the millenary wish for perfection, harmony, and defy of the universal laws of nature trough breakthrough methods, with the more pragmatic need to provide shelter, comfort, light and welfare to everyone. This two apparently opposite views on architecture – subjectivity of art and objectivity of construction – have had different importance along history. Nowadays they must walk side by side aimed at every citizen and weighted according to its purpose. Ordinary architecture is more objective. Exceptional buildings can be subjective. That means that architects can no be blind with one individuality and originality but to adapt them selves to this new era and be ready to serve a much wider audience with different kinds of needs, restraints and goals. For that he needs to understand the social, economic and political environment in witch he is going to intervene to design according to its needs and not his own egocentric self as an artist. The new faculty of architecture should represent the role that architecture plays in contemporary society. A democratic building defined by citizens, students and teachers, opened to the outside world, inviting it to come in and share thoughts and ideas. Interacting with the outside world, trying to know it and understanding it. It is important that the building is able to attract people from inside (campus) and outside to create an atmosphere of exchange – showing architecture to the world and learning from the outside world their needs, worries and news. It should defend a new way of thinking architecture first as a tool to serve the best interests of all, while still searching for harmony, proportion and beauty following a very simple ancient idea based on firmitas, venustas and utilitas.

Democratic Building Those who are going to use it (students, teachers and administrative staff) should determine the new BOUWKUNDE. The method is not new but sometimes tends to be forgotten and in this case (because it is a faculty of architecture) could be taken a little further. Participants should answer to a list of questions concerning, aesthetic, programmatic and construction items and also leave personal notes in a website created specifically with that purpose. Computer software would arrange all the information to create a (statistic) table that would serve to develop the final shape and programme for the building. The project could then be designed with the interaction of several team groups constituted by students, resident architects, invited architects, or even artists from many different areas that could intervene in particular areas, using the building as an experience field in the area of art and architecture. Also after is completion, it should be able to continue to allow all kinds of interventions by residents and outsiders continually adapting to needs and serving as background for experimentation. But could this lead to chaos and anarchy? Is that what contemporary architecture represents?

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START We don’t think so. Being democratic means allowing freedom within boundaries. So the new building should represent freedom within certain rules.

Support Structure (The term comes from N.J. Habraken approach to ordinary construction developed by SAAR in the 60s) The concept developed around the idea of creating a setting or support structure that would allow maximum freedom without losing spatial quality. This freedom has different stages: before construction it allows basically any configuration to have a programmatic arrangement, after construction it would allow a certain degree of freedom but within a permanent background/container/form. The primary function of the support is to determine the relations that the building should established with its surroundings and with it self. But it also should determine the main configuration of form - the tools needed to establish the teaching of architecture should start with the building itself and elements like, proportion, scale, dimension, rhythm, harmony and that should figure from the beginning of the project serving as an inspiration and also as a demonstration that we need to know how to use “old tools” to design new and innovative projects. We don’t now how architecture is going to be taught in the future but we might guess that no matter how much it changes, it will continue to be based on theory throughout practice as a process. That is what distinguishes architecture from other activities – it depends on practical experience, on process of experiment-error-solution - through our building it can be experimented in the building itself. Most activities in this faculty depend on practical exercise like modelling, sketching, design, supported by observation, research and lecture. Students learn by criticizing one another, the common goal unites them in the search for perfection – the interaction is essential to knowledge. So what you need is a building that in its essence is a giant meeting point, with several formal and informal flexible spaces and happenings where you are invited to learn. The support structure defines giant double floor spaces that can be appropriated and changed according to different needs in different times. It can be a studio, exhibition space, formal or informal conference room and a space for real scale experiment/model. It allows architecture to be experienced, tested, without losing its character.

Setting The support structure sets in the location of the old Building, aligning the main facade towards Mekelpark and with the existing buildings. The terrace of Sport Plaza continues along the south façade of the building providing exterior paved public space for outdoors activities. The building opens up in the corner of Mekelpark and ecological area facing the University Campus inviting everyone in. An interior courtyard and terrace continues the outside public space – inside and outside mangle, as we want architecture to be more public then ever.

Continuity The best way to a democratic building is to aim for continuity. The big warehouse where objects are displayed more randomly or organized seems a good comparison. Places were we could freely cross, passing through classes/spaces, quietly observing, listening, or stopping to exchange ideas about a specific work or design that is being developed.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START Imagine a street, a long avenue with different things happening along its way, continuity is the norm, now and then an exception occurs to create diversity and keep the walk interesting. The old BOUWKUNDE explored the idea of the interior street, but only in the public floors. We believe that is a concept that shouldn’t disappear, actually it should characterize the entire building – a suspended street, with people crossing each other and interacting at all times. When there is need for privacy one can close the “door”. In the new BOUWKUNDE we would like this “street” to be inspiring and almost symbolic of the path you have to cover to achieve the degree as an architect. Starting underground, in the basement, a continuous line bursts from the earth and defines the area that the new building will occupy moving up and down, according to landscape and particular programme needs, rising continuously up towards the sky. Even in that arrangement it has a horizontal development because it acts like a suspended and enlightened street. The idea is that the building acts as a giant interior public space where since the moment of entrance we are allowed to go through each space in sequence, watching others classes, getting inspiration, passing teachers and staff, until reaching our destination or the end of the building. This path as also a symbolic meaning/feature because it allows students to grow in the practice of architecture as they go up in the building floors. As you pass year you would be closer to exit, that way, when arriving in first year, you would pass by all other years to go to your class, and that act alone would be a magnificent learning experience. Obviously, this path is symbolic, you don’t have to walk to much to get to your class because there will be vertical communication between floors, but the horizontal continuity makes interaction easier and stimulates the search for perfection in achieving the desired contact between all building users. How do we pass through different classes without bother? By making superior passages that can be more or less open according to the specific needs of programme. That way the inferior floor can be completely open or divided with removable partitioning, where light and imagination can be fully exploited. The superior floor can be just the access passage, or occupied partially with any other programme in need for more enclosure (lecture halls), or the same programme as the inferior floor (studios).

Unity The fact that teaching architecture is based on experience creates an almost utopian community, where students, professor and staff share thoughts, ideals and experiments without constraints. Sharing and criticism leads to evolution and that should be encouraged. Despite the fact that continuity allows interaction, the form should also reflect and contribute to that goal allowing visual interaction, the same way that continuity allows physical interaction. The building takes the shape of a perfect square of 130x130m, enclosing a big interior garden in the centre. It represents the big architecture community with order, proportion and harmony. But the shape is not closed, it is open to the outside world, inviting it to come into our garden into our building teaching them about architecture.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Visual connection This way, residents are always in connection with one another physically or visually enhancing the common spirit of architecture. The visual connection is as important as the physical one. The building as a closed form but it interacts with the outside world and with itself. Students, teachers and staff should see each other’s through windows along the central courtyard – interior-interior relation. The environment surrounding the building and all the outside activity should also inspire them – interior-exterior relation. People from the campus should see students working and learning and feel curious about architecture. They should also be attracted by all kind of events happening in the building and courtyard – exterior-interior relation.

Growth The support structure is designed as a self supported container so it can be easily piled. This is very important because nowadays circumstances change so rapidly that buildings tend to become overcome very easily. Like we said, we don’t know what the future of teaching architecture brings in the future but if the building is able to grow, evolve, adapt and change (within certain limits obviously) then it will be easier to adapt to more space needs without doing harm to the spatial quality of either the existing form and the interior spaces.

Flexibility We must distinguished two kinds of flexibility in this building. Form flexibility - ability to adapt the exterior form to landscape, urban context or interior specifications. Interior flexibility - ability to change the interior of the building. Flexibility of form allows the building to adapt more easily to its surroundings. In this case, it moves up and down to make the entrance into the lot, to create green voids in the superior floors, or to create disparities for auditorium and studios. The green voids allow to diminish the volume mass of the building, helps bringing the ground floor vegetation to the superior floors, creating comfortable microclimates as well as exterior elevated spaces for exhibitions and other activities.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START The differences in floors allow the creation of an auditorium for conference and lecture halls as for elevated studios and form studios. This would enhance interaction between students as, in this spaces composed of different platforms at different heights we have a wider visual range of all works. Interior flexibility does not mean the lack of qualified space. The support structure does not have to have spatial quality, it as to allow spatial quality. The main idea is that each floor is around 10m high x 20m wide (lets call it a unit). Each unit can be used as single floor (for example main hall, an exhibition space or auditorium) double floor or triple floor (offices). This way it is easier to control the entrance of daylight to all spaces according to area and specific needs, as well as, it is easy to change functions from one space to another. Having a support structure gives you the guarantee that change is possible and that means flexibility. However that does not mean that you can feel up the entire space without rules. The project is developed according to the established programme. Building and spaces are designed, future growth is planed, essays of different space displays area established, construction methods determined. The project is concluded in theory. Flexibility means that as long as we maintain the projects essence and the structures integrity, it is possible to do whatever we want inside. For example, as long as we maintain the superior access we can subdivide as much as we want the inferior floor or not make any division at all, or even have an exhibition space. If we don’t like the way lecture halls are positioned or need more area we put it in another place in the building or in a different setting as long as we follow the rules on the essay it is possible to do so. The support structure maintains the integrity of the building. The form is able to adapt itself to new functions.

Construction We believe that nowadays, architecture should reflect the problems going on in our planet. The world is facing serious ecological problems and great part of them is due to the crescent urbanization of free land with construction of buildings. Buildings are great consumers of natural resources: - Materials: 50% of world resources go to the construction market; - Energy: 45% of worlds energy is spent on heating, lighting and ventilating buildings and 5% to construct them; - Water: 40% of all water consumed in the world is for supplying sanitary facilities and other similar facilities in buildings; - Earth: 60% of most tillable soil is being used not for agriculture but for the construction of buildings; - Wood: 70% of all collected wood goes for the construction of buildings In terms of consumption of fossil fuel, buildings represent half of all the energy consumed in the world. Heating, lightning and ventilation of buildings is based on combustion of oil, gas or coal in the buildings or in an electric plant. The essential problem lies in the relation between the consumption of these fuels and the emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere and not in the energy itself. If society was able to generate all the energy it needs after renewable fuels there would not be a conflict. Main sources of CO2 emissions in the UK: - Heating, lightning and ventilation in buildings – 46%; - Construction of buildings – 5%; - Transportation (of materials and people) – 30%; - Industry and agriculture – 19%

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START Water consumption in the UK: - 150L/person/day; - 51% of available water is for public consumption; - 36% of available water is for generating energy; - 13% of available water is for agriculture; - Architects influence directly or indirectly in 81% of water consumption. (Taken from “Guia básica de la sostenibilidad”, Brian Edwards con la colaboración de Paul Hyett.)

The new BOUWKUNDE must reflect the conscience of this values and give a strong example of how architecture should be developed today so that we have a better tomorrow. Today’s buildings must be “efficient in terms of energy consumption, healthy, functional, flexible in use and design for a long useful life”. (Norman Foster and Partners.)

Materials The building is composed of a recycled steel structure with technical floors between each main unit where all the technical support is accommodated, and easily replaced/changed/accessed. The building faces North, South, East, West so that we can take the most advantage of each façade. The North and East facades are more “closed”, protected with insulated panels of recycled natural denim (cotton core) fibre and covered with recycled aluminium sheets. The openings on these facades are smaller to help control the interior temperature of the building. The South and West facades are covered in transparent glass, with shading devices incorporated. Because of the double floor units, this allows the sunlight to cross almost the entire building bringing light into all the spaces and reducing the need for artificial lightning. The shading devices and the plantation of trees will help control the interior temperature during summer without decreasing the amount of daylight into the building. The interior should be divided with standard plaster walls removable and bamboo floors from sustainable plantations. The green rooftop allows for a natural insulation of the roof (earth) as well as prevents overheating in the summer.

Water The rainwater collected in rooftops will be channelled to underground water tanks, treated (passing trough a sand filter) and then used for non-drinking purposes (sanitary facilities, gardening and irrigation). This water could also be used for drinking depending on the quality of the rainwater if it passes trough a mineralization process (trough light and carbon filters). However this kind of facility is very complex and expensive (produces CO2 emissions) and probably it would be more efficient if a bigger facility were built for the entire University Campus and not only for the architecture faculty. Water from the canals should also be use as a system of refrigeration for the roofs in the summer. A simple irrigation system would pick up cold water from the canal, trough the roofs of the building and back again to the canal. It is a very simple system that can be pumped trough renewable energy sources. It is also important to guarantee that water is not wasted irresponsibly. Flow reducers for taps and toilets, appliances with low consumption of water are imperative.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Renewable energy We believe that the new BOUWKUNDE can be self-sufficient in terms of energy needs. The new building is supplied by five 20x20m photovoltaic solar panels and one 25m diameter wind generator located in the parking lot. We believe that it will be better to place the photovoltaic panels in this area because this way they don’t intervene with the buildings ability to grow and change and it also provides shelter to cars in parking all year. The solar panels are use especially in summer, to generate energy for lightning, heating, pumping, recycling water trough the charge of batteries located in the basement. The energy has to pass an inverter so that it can be use in normal appliances (professional or domestic). The wind generator is used mainly in winter to compensate the low production of the photovoltaic panels. However, this renewable energy source can only be applied if there is no migratory birds route in this specific location. If this situation verifies the wind generator should be replaced by heat pumps (drilling the soil to obtain earth heat) this energy source is storied the same way wind or sun energy.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515


Building for Bouwkunde international open ideas competition Motivation – AN END AS A START

Ventilation The new building will not need air conditioning. All building will be ventilated by natural ventilation. The North and East breeze are captured in the technical floors and canalized inside the building to serve different spaces. The used air is sucked out trough the rooftop, by using the wind. The vegetal surrounding helps controlling the action of the wind creating microclimates and not letting it gain too much velocity around the building.

Passive solar energy By exploring sun heat one reduces the need for lightning but also for heating. The South and West facades are composed of a double glass wall – between the two lies a chamber whose function is to control the liberation of heat to the inside. If we want to release heat it opens up on top and heat comes out if not the top ventilation is closed. In some places – top and bottom – the interior wall is made of brick to create a trombe wall and make the capture of passive heat more effective - when the sun starts disappearing in the sky, the glass chamber and trombe wall, will still be releasing heat to he interior. In summer the ventilation will be open so that the heat is sent outside and not inside. In summer the exterior façade gets completely ventilated and the interior glass wall- acts as the main façade with shading devices.

AN END AS A START BK2008-3515

Competition - Building for Bouwkunde - description  

an end as a start - proposal for the international ideas competition Buildin for Bouwkunde, Delft, Netherlands 2008

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you