Benthem Crouwel Architects has won the European tender competition to design a new faculty building for University of Amsterdam’s fast growing Faculty of Science (FNWI). The new multifunctional building of about 14.000 m2 will be located on Amsterdam Science Park and will house the Informatics Institute, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, and the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence. Benthem Crouwel Architects presented a sustainable, circular, smart and flexible vision that will offer the most optimal work and study environment for staff and students.
A circular, flexible building
The goal is to make LAB 942 an energy neutral building; highly sustainable thanks to a minimal use of materials and by avoiding pollution as much as possible. The building consists of a modular framework and a circular main construction made out of recycled and recyclable material. The construction is easy to disassemble, making the building very flexible in its daily use, but also future proof and easy to adapt to changing demands and developments. Lots of greenery inside the building, natural wayfinding and natural ventilation ensure that this is not just a sustainable, but also a very healthy building that provides its users with a comfortable indoor climate.
An open building
The future users of LAB 942 are increasingly engaged in collaborations with businesses and the private sector. These activities require a building that is open to society and the surroundings, a building that makes the creativity and groundbreaking developments in Information Sciences and Artificial Intelligence visible and accessible. LAB 942 consists of a light grid structure, filled with a variety of materials like wood, glass, steel and 3D printed textures – a façade that gives the building an open look and feel.
In the transparent plinth the Visualization, Robotica and Game labs will be in plain sight for passersby. Inside, a high and airy atrium flows diagonally through the entire building. Irregular mezzanines, connecting bridges and a variety of ‘landscapes’ with workspaces create a structure that is clear and coherent, but also energetic and inspiring. The division into three separate zones that are easy to recognize (from quiet concentration areas to spaces that focus on connection and discovery) ensures optimal synergy between the various disciplines.
A collaborative process
To create the definitive design for LAB 942, Benthem Crouwel Architects will start an intensive collaboration with all stakeholders: from students to client, from support staff to consultants. Additionally, the wealth of knowledge and expertise that is present at the FNWI offers a unique opportunity to make this a truly smart and innovative university building, that uses Smart Technology to literally communicate with its users. A faculty building that not just accommodates the research institutes, but actively utilizes and represents them. Source and images Courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects.
Article by Marco Rinaldi