KAAN Architecten

KAAN Architecten

Rotterdam, NL


The Learn’d - a short film about the poetry of light and space

By KAAN Architecten
May 12, '15 8:25 AM EST
KAAN Architecten
KAAN Architecten

The short film, directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), is a two and a half minutes narrative capturing the Education Center of Erasmus MC, an intervention designed by KAAN Architecten, that transformed an abandoned external atrium into an enlightened inner square.

The Education Center is part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, originally designed in 1965 by Arie Hagoort (OD205) in collaboration with Jean Prouvé, and recently extended by EGM architecten. Since its completion in 2013, the new building has merged all medical student programmes under one column-free roof.

The narrative bonds the poetry of light and space of the Education Center with Walt Whitman’s written lyric one. A deep voice reciting “When I heard the learn’d astronomer” from Leaves of Grass meets the sharp harmony of forms, diverse material’s temperatures, and ethereal light of the roof geometry in a crescendo of tension. The discreet presence of two young figures, running and hiding themselves, is changing the focus of the stills and gives shape to an unconventional reading of the building’s structure and its elements.

“The Education Center is part of an imposing medical city, a post-war concrete jungle shaped by pragmatism and cost-cut” says Vroegindeweij. “I was surprised to come across this oasis of humanism and softness, at the very heart of it”.

The short film has been realized in recognition of the shortlist nomination for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. It is part of the exhibition that opened its doors on May 8th, 2015 at the MUHBA Oliva Artés centre in Barcelona.

The video can be screened at this link:

film title: The Learn’d
project name: Education Center Erasmus MC
location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
director: Victor Vroegindeweij
photography: Mick van Dantzig
music: Diederik Ipenburg @ Most
production: The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling

For more information, please contact KAAN press (Maria Azzurra Rossi):  
To download the short film stills and project images, please follow this link.

Synopsis: The Learn'd
In an empty building, a temple of knowledge, movement is detected. Two people in their youth, desperate for meaning, are looking for human contact in a world of facts and figures. The beautiful words of “When I heard the learn’d astronomer”, Walt Whitman’s poem, accompany the stunning imaginary and convey the need to explore reality rather than science, to be human first, and a learn'd after. The same values are embodied by the architecture of the Education Center.

Victor Vroegindeweij
Victor Vroegindeweij is a documentary film director from The Netherlands. He specialises in documentary film, television, reality based commercials and content.
His award winning productions include feature films, television and commercial films. He focuses on the 'human experience' and is interested in the strategies people create to deal with 'problems of life'. He believes that all human activity, whether it is our work or family, our career or our obsessions for food, our love for art or the relentless pursuit of happiness, they are all strategies we develop to forget that life is senseless and that we are all mortal.