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Aerial view 1 integrated heat recovery system 2 mirror system for conducting sunlight 3 natural ventilation 4 post-tensioned concrete masonry (PCM) wall system 5 basin with buffer store of river water for the heat exchanger in the PCM partition 6 slabs connected with underground heat storage 7 adaptive outer skin > natural ventilation concept when closed > cavity for preheating cold winter air when opened > outside balcony 8 integrated solar cells between laminated glass panes on south facade 9 rainwater storage > water buffer for internal Green CO2 filter and air humidification
Aerial view 1 integrated heat recovery system 2 mirror system for conducting sunlight 3 natural ventilation 4 post-tensioned concrete masonry (PCM) wall system 5 basin with buffer store of river water for the heat exchanger in the PCM partition 6 slabs connected with underground heat storage 7 adaptive outer skin > natural ventilation concept when closed > cavity for preheating cold winter air when opened > outside balcony 8 integrated solar cells between laminated glass panes on south facade 9 rainwater storage > water buffer for internal Green CO2 filter and air humidification

Perspective of south-east corner with the entrance and the library balconies above it
Perspective of south-east corner with the entrance and the library balconies above it

Science Centre in context
Science Centre in context

Ground floor plan The slabs are rotated relative to the facades to be able to benefit fully from wind and sun. 1 Nieuwe Maas 2 entrance 3 main entrance 4 central atrium 5 storage 6 restaurant 7 auditorium 1 8 cooling water reservoir
Ground floor plan The slabs are rotated relative to the facades to be able to benefit fully from wind and sun. 1 Nieuwe Maas 2 entrance 3 main entrance 4 central atrium 5 storage 6 restaurant 7 auditorium 1 8 cooling water reservoir

Section 1 library 2 auditorium 1 3 auditorium 2
Section 1 library 2 auditorium 1 3 auditorium 2

South facade
South facade

3D section through the library with spiral stair, glass floor and glass ceiling
3D section through the library with spiral stair, glass floor and glass ceiling




PROJECTINDEX
 
HEIJPLAAT SCIENCE CENTRE
Technische Universiteit Delft
ARCHITECTURE

The Science Centre on the RDM campus in Rotterdam is first and foremost a sustainable building, besides being an icon and a central meeting place on campus.
The environment in which we build is subject to change and durability is becoming increasingly important for our society. Our climate is changing and we are less and less able to rely on fossil fuels for our energy. We therefore have to look for alternative sources of energy and design buildings that are more energy-efficient and more targeted at what nature and the immediate surroundings can offer as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Rotterdam has the unique opportunity to extend its built territory along the river Maas, where there is space that can serve a variety of ends. One of the new sites is the RDM site, at a former shipyard of the Rotterdam Dry Dock Company in the City Ports area. Parts of this area are still in use as industrial harbours, others are derelict and ripe for redevelopment. Heijplaat is one harbour basin now being redeveloped.
The location on the water holds out unique opportunities. Its openness gives the wind and sun free play. These natural conditions raise the question of how these site-specific factors can be deployed to create a sustainable architectural design.
The urban plan shows Heijplaat and the area's new campus identity. Among the newly designed buildings is the Science Centre, which acts as an icon for the campus and performs a social duty for the different groups – students, researchers, businesses, visitors – using the area. Its location is key to the design. This is not just a question of iconic status but more particularly of how the design can unite all on-site qualities to the advantage of its users.
The building is a compact, deep cube. Its surface areas has been increased to give more room to work up the four elements of the project. This is why the cube has been interpreted not as a pure volume but as an unlimited number of horizontal and vertical slabs. The relationship between programme and site dictates where these slabs are to move to generate space, thus rendering them clearly visible in the exterior. They considerably enlarge the building's surface area, making it possible to use the water from the river (Nieuwe Maas) for cooling and heating purposes. The wind flow through the building is part of a natural ventilation principle, and daylight is manipulated by the slabs and delivered in degrees of quality. A slab covered with mosses is to improve the quality of the air. As a result these slabs are more than space-defining elements; they are living components (sometimes literally so) of a large metabolic system.
The climate control system in this building is well served by integrating the project's four elements, stitching the building more firmly into its setting. More than that, the horizontal and vertical slabs enrich the architecture, their function making them active elements in the design.
Steel, glass and several varieties of concrete are the building's principal materials. The planes are organized in a hierarchical sequence of three each with its own material form. The slabs are of concrete but the pigment and the treatment of the surface varies. The tertiary planes mark the cube shape and have an orange-brown pigment. The primary and secondary planes share the colour grey but differ in their finish. These planes are neutral so that the daylight entering is of a superb quality.