Hogeschool Rotterdam Kralingse Zoom

Self-confident large corporates, rapidly growing scale-ups, and even the smallest of start-ups are continually asking themselves who they are, why they are doing their business, and how they can attract the right human capital. A building for a business school would have to ask itself the same questions. Rooted in the city and society, Rotterdam Business School is a recognisable and accessible knowledge podium for education and inspiration.

Tech & Touch

In addition to the recognisable spatial typologies, the translation of the required commercial and contemporary appearance requires an extra layer. In this sense, we can talk about the symbiosis between tech and touch, or hardware and software.

This layer complements the atmosphere of the building and enables users to identify with their surroundings. The local colour here is translated here into an inspiring environment. It is a special architectonic language, that gives simple and powerful expression and offers comfort to both the exterior and interior. It is a place where people want to spend time and feel welcome. An environment that adapts and surprises.

Free platforms

A good teaching building works as an ecosystem. All of the elements are connected to each other, can be individually read, and have a hierarchy that forms a recognisable whole. A wide range of spatial typologies stimulates activity related to studying. This is analogous to how a good education building functions, but also how a spatial system such as a city or campus functions.

The spatial system offered by this design provides a wide variety of functional spaces: the spatial-functional connecting functions such as a study street and events square, and the specific functional spaces such as auditoriums, large classrooms, medium-sized classrooms, presentation rooms, small instruction rooms and rooms for 1-to-1 meetings.

What links these spaces and therefore the users is that they form part of a single inspiring environment where each user can identify themselves.

Green lung

The new education building is characterised by a high level of biophilia. ‘Biophilic design’ responds to the basic need of people to be in contact with nature and has a positive effect on the health of users.

The greenhouse staircase with all of its steps and the atriums form the green lung of the building. By opening windows, providing the possibility to work outdoors on the balconies or in the more secluded conservatories, the large number of plants in the atriums, and the conservatories and the balconies distributed across the floors, this special space breathes and figuratively and literally provides air in the building.

The humidity produced by the many plants on the southern facade, particularly when the sun shines and the plants transpire, is harvested and used by the air treatment system. The air treatment system makes use of a hygroscopic heat wheel. This heat wheel removes humidity from the return air in the areas and improves dry air during hot periods of the year.

Windows have been created specially for this between the conservatories and the atriums that open so that the humidity from the conservatories mixes with the air returning through the atriums. On warmer days, the air does not flow back to the air treatment system but leaves the building via the roof opening on the top floor.

  • commission: design of a faculty building
  • location: Rotterdam, Kralingse Zoom
  • client: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
  • structural consultant: IMd
  • fire safety: DGMR
  • advisor interior: EX interiors
  • programme: classrooms, offices, study landscape, library, restaurant, hospitality
  • floor area: 14.000m²
  • competition design: 2019