Education Centre University of Groningen
The Education Centre at the University of Groningen unifies the various branches and users of the Healthy Ageing Campus under one roof, housing more than 2000 students and staff. The new building is meant to re-establish a connection with the historical city centre of Groningen and weave the new Healthy Ageing Campus into its urban fabric. The programme has been organised within five brick volumes that link up with the central foyer on the first and ground floor with enough flexibility to allow easy changes to the spatial arrangement in the future. A public square and spacious foyer serve as the reception area for the whole campus and naturally reconnect the existing buildings around campus with each other. The foyer is framed by a transparent facade facing the square and several green patios. The patios mark the transition to existing buildings at different levels and introduce light into the lower floors. Travelling further through the foyer leads to the ‘study tower’ where stairs and study spaces look over the city centre. The positioning of the volumes to house the different educational programmes was determined by important sightlines and the desired spatiality of the complex. A variety of study and meeting spaces create a relaxed and informal space in the Centre, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. Ease of access, high comfort levels, sufficient daylight, and green views ensure a healthy and sustainable environment while the centre’s welcoming facade and lively programme give the campus a new face.