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.
Campus Howest second prize winning proposal in Kortrijk, Belgium by OYO – Open Y Office
October 26th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OYO – Open Y Office
This OYO story takes you all the way back to April, when we were notified of our prequalification to design a new campus building for Howest in Kortrijk. Together with Arch&Teco we accepted the challenge to compete against nine other well established offices. We put a lot of love into this design and are proud to present to you our second prize winning proposal.
The challenge for this project was to define a certain character that defines and translates the ambition of the client Howest, which describes itself as a creative, a-typical, innovative and entrepreneurial institution. Howest wants to position itself as a sustainable and vibrant knowledge center. A creative and bold design scheme was perceived and needed to be translated into timeless architecture where we position the student in the middle of the story. The student is reached out all the necessary tools and mediums to develop his personality further; but at the same time he is able to withdraw at any time chosen. Sufficiently diversified spaces should be created in response. Alongside creating a vibrant knowledge center that is functional and flexible; the campus should also address itself as a trusted student habitat. A biotope that the students can make themselves their own but which is at the same time clustered to a communal binding and vibrant whole.
The building should be 24/7 adaptable and translated into a flexible typology where its users can shop knowledge, process that knowledge, redevelop and re-display their work on the continuous knowledge track wrapping inside the building. A key element of the concept is to perceive the building maximum fordable throughout the micro-habitats of the students. Cross-pollination is strongly encouraged that way.
The building should be sustainable. Not only in terms of building physics or functionality or adaptability, but it should also breathe a healthy, fresh and creative-conducive atmosphere. A green ramblas guides the fordable spaces throughout the project. This activated green space wraps around the slabs and brings the park to each floor creating on strategic places green pockets: They are conceived as squares, terraces or garden varieties that contributes to a healthy study and exchange environment in general.
We envision this new campus as an interactive field where we catch the classrooms in the middle, conceived as areas of focus. This field contains lecture rooms, informal meeting spaces, restaurant, bar, shop and lounge areas and wraps around the area of focus. It connects the park all the way up to the roof garden where students, teachers, alumni, companies and neighbors are invited to shop and exchange knowledge.
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