Article source: Van Dongen – Koschuch Architects and Planners
Delft, city of innovation in the Netherlands
The entire world knows Delft from Delft Blue pottery and the painter Johannes Vermeer. But there is more to Delft. Delft is a city of innovation and pioneers. Making the impossible possible is in the DNA of Delft. It has been for centuries, from the first beer brewers who innovated with water management in the 14th century. A couple of centuries later, Hugo de Groot created modern international public law and Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope. And recently, Boyan Slat, a student at the Delft University of Technology, surprised the world with the Ocean Cleanup, a solution for ridding the oceans of the ‘plastic soup’.
The Tetra building is the new face of the independent Research Institute Deltares. The institute, which focuses on innovative solutions to Delta problems, was housed on an outdated campus designed in the sixties. Jeanne Dekkers Architectuur tried to find a suiting expression to the changing emphasize of the research of Deltares. New insights into the essence of hydraulic engineering, with more emphasis on the “soft side”, the ecology and sustainability, asked for a different architectural language.
The tender for the end building on Stationsplein (Station square) in Delft was won by Smit’s Bouwbedrijf BV|Vink Bouw Nieuwkoop BV. Studioninedots was responsible for the architecture.
Centrally located in Nieuw Delft, this lively place creates space for meeting, knowledge exchange and innovation: the DNA of Delft. The strength of this robust complex called ‘Antoni’ lies in the physical connection of the dynamic surroundings with an urban, mixed-use function that incorporates exhibition and meeting spaces, a hotel with restaurant, workspaces, retail and apartments. Integrated underneath the building will be a new public parking facility for 2.400 bicycles.
The construction agreement between the development group and the municipal developer Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Spoorzone Delft was signed on 21 December 2016.
Within the new station hall an undulating ‘vault’, which has been designed to evoke an “unforgettable arrival experience”, features a scaled 1877 map of the Dutch city rendered in blue and white. Columns wrapped in a mosaic of Delft-blue titles, also reminiscent of the colours of Delftware, one of the city’s most famous global exports. This project is having a massive press coverage around Holland and is turning into a tourist attraction as well.
Combiwerk Delft is a Social Workplace (SW) company and offers custom work to people who, due to a physical, psychological or mental limitation, are not able to find a regular job. Besides these limitations, the possibilities and talents are especially looked at. A lot has changed and the emphasis lately has been shifted more to re-integration into the regular work force. The job centre (career square) has become much more important with respect to workplaces. Training is offered and tests are done in the kitchen of the company restaurant, the cleaning service and the office. Assembling, sorting and packing are done at the workplaces. Green and environmental services are also an important branch of the social workplace. The ambitious attitude of the company is striking. There is a strong, positive culture. The new construction was intended to clearly reflect this. Despite the limited resources and a clear wish for a sober approach, the building and decoration had to radiate quality. It had to convey attention and involvement, in order to stimulate a sense of pride in its users. An environment that supports that valuable work is being done here, with special people.
Building by VMX architects - Image Courtesy VMX architects
Design of new campus started with the introduction of 3 dimensionally “interwoven” space. Space for faculty and staff (office space) & space for students (studio and library) are interwoven to create variety of mutual activities at the in between plazas. Interweaving is not only happening between the space for faculty and space for students, but also with sunlight, trees and breezes.
The library of Delft Technical University is the central library of the Netherlands, but also the technical library of the Netherlands, linked by the latest electronic devices to libraries all over the world. The university library not only offers space to books, it also offers space for knowledge and research. It is a meeting place where ideas are exchanged. The programme allows for a thousand study places. That means that warmth and light will be given to more than three thousand students per day.