Erasmus University Rotterdam has opened the new public heart of its Woudestein campus. The project can be seen as a benchmark for the way grim and gloomy '60s and '70s institutional areas can be sparked to life.
A new semi-sunken garage has been integrated with a new public space design and pond together with a new student pavilion mark the realization of the first phase of a unique and ambitious revitalization master plan. The master plan was designed by the collaborating Dutch firms Juurlink [+] Geluk and jvantspijker architects.
Transformation master plan: parking and landscaping as a game-changer
The transformation primarily addresses the need for a sense of place, orientation, way-finding and identity as well as providing a high quality of public space with a pleasant experience. The Erasmus Plaza is the new central axis of the campus, a boulevard and formal entrance to the University.
The garage frees the site for landscaping while it injects people into the heart of the campus.
Rather than being a piece of stupid infrastructure, the garage is a groundscraper, a connecting machine that in a single strong gesture ties up the landscape, height differences, public flows, public program and events in to a new central heart. Refined materialization provides new and fresh allure to the site.
Student Pavillion by Powerhouse Company and DeZwarteHond
At the crossing of the two main axes of the master plan, at the natural point of gravity of the campus, a Student Pavilion has been realized.
This elegant, iconic building, the winning entry of an international competition, consists of a glass box in which a wood-clad sculptural theatre box magically floats. The building magnificently incorporates the height differences of the site and beautifully embraces the public space design concept into its interior.
Durable and future-proof
With this master plan, the campus has become more lively and durable, making the university more attractive for (international) students and staff. Sustainability has been pursued at many levels, ranging from water and energy management, to the provision of hundreds of new trees, use of good materials and provision of tight building guidelines for the buildings to come.
The new pond in the center of the campus is important for the required water retention and marks the central place of the campus with a combination of grandness and rest. The public space and landscaping (designed by Juurlink [+] Geluk) has provided the area with an essential total makeover.
Erasmus University Campus Rotterdam; design: 2007-2012; construction first phase: 2010-2013, next phases ongoing
Program 1st phase (up to 2018): 50.000 m2 GFA mixed program including education,
research, 330 units student housing, 1000 parking spaces, 1500 bicycle spaces, 30.000 m2 of public space design
masterplan: Juurlink [+] Geluk Amsterdam & jvantspijker urbanism architecture
public space design: Juurlink [+] Geluk Amsterdam
parking garage design: Sputnik & jvantspijker urbanism architecture, in collaboration with Juurlink [+] Geluk Amsterdam
student pavillion design: Powerhouse Company & DeZwarteHond
client: Erasmus University Rotterdam, EFB
Photography: René de WIt, BK Deuten, Chidi Onukwa