Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Grotiusgebouw in Nijmegen, Netherlands by Benthem Crouwel Architects
September 5th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Benthem Crouwel Architects
The Grotiusgebouw (Grotius building) is a new university building of the Radboud University Nijmegen. The university is situated in a green, park-like environment. The compact, detached building with its orientation to all sides fits perfectly into this green campus. The building will mainly be used by the Faculty of Law.
The horizontally articulated building has a small footprint and seems to consist of three floors. In reality, there are five. The building ‘drops’ a level into the ground and has a recessed penthouse on the roof. The car and bike parking are located completely underground. The main entrance is located on a future new square. Through this entrance one enters the bright central atrium. The vital functions such as the library, the large lecture hall for 500 students and restaurant are grouped around the atrium, over several floors. A waterfall of wide stairs, located at the centre of the atrium, connects all floors.
On both sides of the glass atrium the different sections of the building are clearly recognisable, such as the library which extends over three floors and is an eye catcher due to the rows of bookshelves. The restaurant, situated on the ground and first floor has a spacious terrace that connects to the library terrace. The study areas, a mix of single rooms and communal areas, are spread over the floors throughout the building. The offices are located mainly in the upper two layers of the building, which include the penthouse floor, and offer stunning views over the campus. Again, transparent walls ensure an open spatial connection and equality between different user groups. Via the atrium daylight flows abundantly into the heart of the building.
The cantilevered canopies all around the building typify the appearance of the Grotiusgebouw. These canopies of white glossy composite, along with all the glass that reflects the green and wooded area, provide the Grotiusgebouw with an open and classic character. The upside of the canopies reflects the daylight into the building. At the same time direct, blinding sunlight is averted. Natural materials in the interior, mostly wood, create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. The materials are durable, recyclable and easy to maintain. Wood is used in floors, walls, cabinets, ceilings and facade posts. The floor in the actively used atrium is made of stone. Furniture and innovative lighting elements provide colour accents. The interior reflects the distinguished look of the Faculty of Law and at the same time offers students a pleasant learning environment.
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