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.
Level in Leiden, The Netherlands by MVSA Architects
January 6th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MVSA Architects
Level is located adjacent to Leiden Central Station. Level is a building that houses a variety of organizations including the new ROC Leiden (regional training centre), a commercial hotel and a care hotel, and a fitness club and wellness centre with a swimming pool.
What makes Level so exceptional is that it not only offers accommodations to students of the regional training centre and the Boerhaave school, but also to commercial companies. This cross-section of society allows the station’s users, the people living in the surrounding area, the employees working at the commercial enterprises and the thousands of students from the regional training centre to cross paths in the building on a daily basis.
The footprint of the building on the west side of Leiden Central Station fills the entire plot, linking the routes running through the surrounding area to the internal routing in the building. The approach guarantees the requested features: a sense of openness in the plot itself, a maximum of 50% building density, and a free line of sight from the railway. Large spaces have been left free within the clearly structured building volume. These open spaces are threaded in a connected line through the building, not only creating the requested lines of sight running through the building, but also forming traffic routes and meeting points. The open spaces allow visitors to orient themselves within the city and vice versa, making it possible to map out the building’s lively interior at a glance.
The hall on the ground floor will be filled with commercial activities, thus encouraging pedestrians to walk through the building from the station to the Leiden University Medical Centre or to the bus stop on Bargelaan. The hall forms the front entrance to the regional training centre. The wide stairway to the first floor leads to the ROC. From there, visitors can take the lift or stroll farther, taking secondary stairways and crossing the large atrium to the communal areas. These areas offer access to individual study/workspaces and the more closed-off classrooms.
Offices are located above the ROC. The tenth, eleventh and twelfth floors are occupied by a commercial hotel and a care hotel, including convention facilities and a restaurant with a panoramic view over the city. The hotels also include a wellness centre with a swimming pool.
MVSA Architects also designed the interior of the regional training centre. The light interior is decorated in neutral materials, creating a calm and pleasant atmosphere. Orientation and overview within the building are important to ensure user comfort. Colour, iconography, patterns and pictures are used to create identifying markers for the departments and to make it easier to find and recognise the departments in the building.
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