The building: 'BK City'

BK City, bustling city and part of an academic tradition

Life never slows down within the impressive, renovated building in Julianalaan. Although originally intended for students of Chemistry, the building is now home to young designers, passionate researchers and is a breeding ground for innovative knowledge and design. It is a place that is buzzing with life from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge.

The current building occupied by the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment was designed by its users to become a place where the dynamism and passion of the faculty is visible at a glance. In BK City, old classrooms became state-of-the-art studios, corridors were given special signposting and the empty inner squares redesigned to create two covered areas for lectures, presentations and an impressive models studio.

Every city has its own history. When the faculty's former building in Berlageweg was devastated by fire, new accommodation arose from the ensuing chaos. In almost no time at all, the best knowledge and talents of students, researchers, staff, alumni and external agencies were brought together. Thanks to highly intensive cooperation and a passion for Architecture, the vacant building at Julianalaan was transformed into BK City within a single year.

The building has:

  • a floor area about 36,000 m2;
  • more than 50% of the area in use as studio or office space;
  • many rooms for presentations;
  • studios for bachelor’s and master’s students;
  • workshop rooms;
  • rooms for lectures and conferences (like the Berlage conference rooms);
  • meeting places and lounges;
  • a restaurant and an espresso bar.

The building is really something special that we can offer to the many collaborations we are part of. It is home to project kick-offs, final events, workshops, board meetings, hackathons, presentations, seminars, symposia and conferences. It gives us a competitive edge in terms of dissemination and communication among partners.

Glasshouses

The glasshouses were added to meet the need for more space and the desire to accommodate the modelling studio in the centre of the building (South), and to provide room for an exhibition with the 'Tribune' (East). They were designed by Octatube (overall structure), Fokkema & partners (interior) and MVRDV (Tribune), in collaboration with staff members (modelling studios) and Henk van der Geest (lighting).

Chairs

The chairs exhibited in the corridor are part of the famous Bouwkunde collection, with chairs made by designers like Rietveld, Maarten van Severen, Charles & Ray Eames, and Jasper Morrison.

Library

The library, with its famous 'counter of books' (made of redundant books), was designed by Fokkema & partners. It has more than:

  • 35,000 books;
  • 14,000 maps;
  • 550 atlases;
  • 260 magazine titles.

 

 

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