The combination of education, research, culture, living and working will create an integral campus boosting the university’s identity and unity. The green and easy accessible campus is the starting point for CONIX RDBM Architects global vision. The old student accommodation, nowadays combined all together in one central student village, is no longer adjusted to today’s standards. It will be omitted in favour of a green landscape on site.
The new student accommodation is an elongated volume located alongside the campus’ boarder at the Triomflaan. Its position reinforces the urbanity of the campus while at the same protecting the green heart of the campus. However the transparency towards the city remains preserved at all times by the buildings intriguing volumes and the fact the green boulevard runs throughout the campus.
Trough well-thought decisions the linear volumes will adapt a permanent relation with the urban environment. Its design, part by using pillars, part by withdrawing it slightly, results in a generous, recognizable and highly accessible entrance. On one hand it’s an entrance for the city, her visitors and inhabitants, on the other it’s a gathering spot for students. As a result the buildings become part of the campus, protect the inner student life from the public street and adopt the same architectural language as the surrounding buildings.
Two campus landmarks have a crucial role in going from the city towards the campus. On one side there’s the cultural tower inviting everyone to participate in the university’s activities, on the other there’s a research tower, part of phase II of the construction process, representing the VUB as a highly acclaimed center conducting quality research.
Also the student houses’ façade aims at stressing the bilateral image – city vs. inner campus – of the context. The big bow-windows are responding to the city’s scale and increase the identity of the living areas of the student units organized in groups of six. At the rear side of the student facility one can find a playful combination of stairs serving as informal gathering spots. The use of these stairs is a solution to various architectural demands: multiple dilatations, shared balconies and meeting points, a playful façade in dialogue with the park and a useful way to prevent overheating.