Campus Minerva

Renovation and reconversion of university buildings for the product development faculty

Archi­tecture Interior design

New learning spaces City life Reconversion and renovation

In order to meet all the contemporary school requirements, this campus design adds a new circulation zone as an extension to bridge all floors of the central building. The bridges fit within the principle of 'new learning space' and provide areas to study and work, while connecting the new building in the garden with the existing patrimony.

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On the Campus Paardenmarkt, the characterful Minerva’s site radiates, not only because of the clear presence of its listed facades on the Paardenmarkt, but peculiarly with its directly accessible intimate inner courtyard dominated by the imposing eclectic facade of building D. The historically valuable environment provides as a whole an excellent and balanced framework for creative training such as Product Development. After their restoration and rehabilitation, the buildings will be the new face, the new identity of the Campus towards the Paardenmarkt.

The buildings located on the inner courtyard and on the Rodestraat are renovated to meet all the contemporary school requirements concerning comfort and safety. They will host all workshops and design room. In order to optimize the circulation while enhancing extra flexibility, footbridges interconnect the buildings. The bridges fit within the principle of new learning and provide spaces to study and workplaces.

In order to be able to use the central building in a practical and flexible way, a new volume is added against the blind rear facade, it ensures that all classrooms get a direct access. This additional space can serve as a kind of informal workspace, foyer and exhibition space. The extension has a uniting function; connecting all floors with lift and stairs, it relates everyone with the reception and cafeteria. It is centrally located and thus becomes the heart of the entire campus, a hinge between the two outdoor spaces: the courtyard around which the work is being done and the park where people can relax.

On the ground floor, the transparency of the added volume and specially of the gallery is crucial for the school in order to involve the neighborhood in its activities and display to the general public innovative products being developed on this location. Once the door are open, the courtyard transforms into a gallery.

The two gates mark the entrance to the school, this operational and strongly visible addition to the gallery gives a direct substantive link to the core business of the school’s education principle and invites the students to confrontation and discussion. It becomes a strategic billboard for the school towards the city and the outside world.

Location : Antwerp
Area : 13.500 m²
Date : 2017
Fact : 2nd place in the competition
Client : University of Antwerp
Team : B2Ai and AAA

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