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Monday, February 02, 2009

KHBO University College, Bruges, Belgium

University college Bruges gets striking new campus

The architects envision this building whose dynamic form expresses the transfer of knowledge and competence in higher education. It is autonomous architecture with a strong identity that provides a lasting response to the complex needs and strict conditions to which a contemporary university must answer.

The building lies along a major roadway and forms a visual and sonic barrier between the busy highway and a peaceful green campus. Flexibility characterises various layers of the concept, from the architectural modulation to the static structure and layout of technical provisions, all functions that can be filled in optimally according to the current and future needs of the univesity.

The building consists of three main divisions: a volume containing the auditorium and cafeteria, three equal, sober volumes with classrooms and offices and a powerful volume encompassing study-related activities. The entire assemblage is covered over by a gigantic roof that, on the highway side, flows into a façade clad with anthracite-colored zinc. A bright cafeteria for 350 students is situated underneath a big auditorium for 650 people.

The forum is conceived as a three-dimensional meeting place with broad steps, open galleries, and places to sit or study. This light-flooded, contemporary forum is a heterotopic space in which students and professors can meet, and for this reason it is provided with a large number of study islands. The library, as the centre of knowledge and competence, is one of the main showpieces of the campus.
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