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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Polak building – Erasmus University Rotterdam in Netherlands by Paul de Ruiter Architects

 
March 8th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Paul de Ruiter Architects

Campus renewal and sustainability ambitions go hand in hand at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In the newest addition to the campus, the multifunctional educational building called Polak, the university’s ambition is emphatically manifested: to be among the most sustainable campuses in the Netherlands. The energy-efficient building, of which both the interior and the exterior are designed by Paul de Ruiter architects, fits  into the new educational strategy of the Erasmus University, aimed at activating, small-scale education.

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

  • Architects: Paul de Ruiter Architects
  • Project: Polak building – Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Location: Woudestein Campus, Rotterdam
  • Photography: Jeroen Musch, Tim van de Velde, Sebastian van Damme
  • Project architects: Paul de Ruiter and Noud Paes
  • Project team: Marlous Vriethoff, Laura van de Pol, Richard Buijs, Marieke Sijm
  • Mechanical engineering: Wolter & Dros TBI Techniek, Amersfoort
  • Contractor: SMT Bouw, Rosmalen, Palte, Valkenburg
  • Interior architect: Paul de Ruiter Architects
  • Landscape architect: Juurlink[+], Rotterdam (NL) and bureau JvantSpijker, Rotterdam
Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

  • Client: Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Gross floor area: 8.400m2
  • GPR score: 8.5
  • Start design: March 2012
  • Start construction: May 2014
  • Completion: September 2015
Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

The five-story education building with more than 600 modern study places has a flexible structure with space for a substitution program. During the first few years Polak also building houses temporary work places from the university library. In time, the building must be providing accommodation to the scientific community. In this way, Polak is responding to current educational trends and future developments.

Image Courtesy © Sebastian van Damme

Image Courtesy © Sebastian van Damme

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Focus on users

The interior of the education building focuses completely on the needs of different users. The plinth offers space for retail, including a hairdresser, a launderette, safes, a campus store and a temporary lecture hall. The foundation of the building is completed by a printing service from Canon, a Studystore and the employment agency Randstad.

Image Courtesy © Sebastian van Damme

Image Courtesy © Sebastian van Damme

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

To make sure large groups of students can move freely between the entrance and their lectures, the lecture halls are located on the first floor. Students that prefer to study independently or in small groups find a calm and quiet study environment on the floors above.  A long, spiral staircase wraps itself around the atrium’s floors and guides students to the upper study areas.

A natural light-flooded atrium connects every floor to each other. A unique feature can be found in the glass atrium roof that incorporates solar cells which are, if the sun shines, visible throughout the atrium as shadow patterns.

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Sustainable materials and natural ventilation

Erasmus University aspires to be among the most sustainable campuses in the Netherlands. The materials used for the interior of Polak building contribute to reach this goal. The interior comes across as pure and warm because of all the wood used, as well as the recurring colors yellow, orange and orange-red. For example, The 1st floor’s reading tables, 6 meters in length, have even been made from ‘urban timber’, that is, from trees felled by Rotterdam city council. Any coatings are based on natural resins only.

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

In addition, Polak Building has incorporated a climate control system, and optimal insulation, natural ventilation and minimal technical installation. Unique is the façade, where fresh air flows in via hatches, that can be opened manually, in the louvers. Differences in depth of the slats help protect the glass from direct sunlight while providing shade at the same time. All together, these sustainability measures are to result in a GPR rating of 8.5. GPR is an officially recognized Dutch measuring instrument used to calculate a building’s environmental friendliness.

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Jeroen Musch

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Tim van de Velde

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

Image Courtesy © Paul de Ruiter Architects

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Categories: Campus, University Building

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