Student Rooms, Congress Center and Offices on the grounds of the Vrije Universiteit in Brussel
1st place at open competition for PPP organised by the client
Nominated for the Biennial Architecture Award Ixelles 2014 | Participation in the Day of Architecture 2013
This academic residence on the campus of the Brussels Free University (VUB) fulfils a triple function: (1) accommodation for students, guest lecturers and athletes, (2) representative congress venue combined with facilities for research in the field of sports medicine and physical performance, (3) new gateway towards the University campus, resting on a transparent base of pilotis and taking advantage of its visibility to open and connect a previously introverted site.
The architecture of the building is derived from its implantation in the landscape and its urban context. The bent volume nestles between the curve of the athletics track and the row of trees along a historic bridle way. While the ground floor spaces are open to the city and the green surroundings, the prefabricated facade panels create a clearly defined monolithic volume on top.
The cantilevered window frames on the upper levels ensure a sense of privacy, and frame clear views towards the cityscape. The cantilevered window frames in the South façade provide shadow for the glazing, while in the North façade, where sun protection is not needed, the windows themselves are cantilevered, creating small private lounge areas on the window sills inside. Furthermore a high degree of flexibility in organisation and plan lay-out has been foreseen by means of modularity combined with beam-less floor.
client: PPP - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Boulevard de la Plaine 2, 1050 Ixelles, BE and COVAS, Scheldestraat 9, 2000 Antwerp, BE
team: T. Boogaerts, H. Bosteels, L. Bown, M. Czvek, M. Lefeber, T. Rigby, P. Stessens, A. Sümeghy, M. Tierens, M. Van Rossen
structural eng.: Norbert Provoost
surface: 6.631 m² gross
timing: competition design 2006 | completion 2013