Delft University’s latest addition

Cepezed have created a new landmark building for Delft University in the Netherlands

by Nick Myall 13 October 2017
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    On Thursday October 5th, the official opening of the new, cepezed-designed International Student House (ISH) in Delft took place as part of the National Student Housing Congress. With 332 units, the project offers accommodation for some 350 international students. The ISH is part of the master plan Technical University Campus North, which also includes the transformation into student apartments of formerly vacant, monumental university buildings. Overall, the plan now realized offers lodging for over 900 students. Within the area as a whole, the ISH functions as the central meeting point and city living room for students. The TU Campus North plan is a close cooperation between the Delft Technical University, student housing developer DUWO and the municipality. Aside from accommodation capacity, the goals hereof include a stronger relation between the city and the TU campus, a dynamic interaction between students and the stimulation of connections between communities. 

    Thus, the ISH also fulfils a substantial function with regard to the social coherence and urban scheming within the area directly adjoining the Schie river. Related to dimensioning, a lot of attention was paid to a strong connection with the surrounding monumental constructions; concerning the overall spatial set-up, the goal was a structure that closely links the complex to its direct vicinity. The new construction consists of two u-shaped blocks of partly five, partly six and partly ten storeys, the floor plans of which jointly constitute a rectangular composition. This way, the ISH is actually made up of two buildings, but it is strongly experienced as a unity. The positioning of the new construction lends the area a logical structure with a clear sequence of public spaces. Liberally sized passages in the long sides of the rectangular constitute a self-evident interconnection between the different parts hereof: a square along the western Professor Schermerhornstraat, a courtyard in between the building blocks and a future park on the east side.

    The student rooms measure some 16 sq m and are each equipped with their own sanitary unit of another 2.5 sq m , which holds a shower, toilet and sink. Per six to eight rooms, they are clustered in a communal group with its own kitchen-dining room. The balconies that adjoin these have fully transparent parapets that importantly add to a lively interaction between the different groups. The use of dedicated colours in the interior make for an easy navigation of the construction wings and house groups. The development also contains a diversity of amenities. Along the square, the plinth has a double height, as well as open, transparent and inviting characteristics, several mezzanines and a wide view over the entire complex. Among other facilities, the plinth holds a restaurant adjoined by a terrace and a common room, a sort of living room where students can meet, relax, and where events such as lectures and theme activities take place as well. The interior of the common room was designed by cepezedinterior. Additionally, the ISH offers a variety of other facilities such as a launderette, a storage for household refuge and a large, lockable in-house bicycle park. A large transparent cantilever construction on the west side holds commercial spaces with split-level floor fields and a wide view over the adjoining river. These spaces importantly add to a lively and spatial appearance. Transparent stairwells at the construction ends adjoining the courtyard also generate a lively experience and stimulate contact. The stairwells are lit during night time. The ISH was almost fully erected by means of concrete, but has façades that consist of a metal stud system with an outer cladding of Corten steel cassettes that in colour and texture agreeably fit in with the appearance of the monumental brick architecture of the surrounding buildings. The main structure of the stairwells is of steel. The glazing is directly attached to it, without the use of frames or other façade systems.

    Nick Myall

    News editor

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