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Friday, March 27, 2009

Delft Faculty of Architecture, Delft, Netherlands

Three winners chosen to rebuild Delft Faculty of Architecture

The winners of an ideas competition to rebuild the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture, which burned to the ground in May 2008, have been announced. The competition, which drew 466 entries from 50 countries, resulted in three winners; Dutch practices Laura Alvarez Architecture, Gijs Raggers and French practice Marc Bringer Architecture. The three practices each won €15,000 (£13,800), which they received at a ceremony on Thursday 19 March at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam.

Laura Alvarez’s proposal, entitled "amalgam” departs from the existing university building that currently serves as the architecture faculty. Even though the Julianalaan building is intended as a temporary solution, the proposal for the faculty to remain at this site and invest in improving its facilities was an idea the jurors lauded and considered to be a wise strategy, particularly in these times of economic and ecological crisis.

Marc Bringer’s proposal, entitled “GREEN-HOUSED CULTURE”, combines a greenhouse typology with a dynamic laboratory atmosphere. The greenhouse is not only an interesting spatial and climatological typology, but also refers to a local characteristic: the Westland area greenhouses in the immediate vicinity of Delft, while simultaneously evoking large university laboratories. The jurors commended the proposal for its clear statement on sustainability, without exaggerating the architectural expression that often accompanies it.

Gijs Raggers design, entitled A World Without Objects, looks back to existing projects and typologies, while proposing to literally use the Rotterdam shopping street Lijnbaan, which was originally designed in 1952. This street, measuring 500x50x5 metres, is projected onto the Mekelweg. The Mekelpark's programmatic void thus becomes filled with activities. The jury praised the proposal for its "radical move resulting in an intriguing project that is finely tuned into a building that can engage in different relationships with the street.”

All 466 competition entries are on display from 15 March through 7 June at the NAI (Netherlands Architecture Institute) in Rotterdam.

Sharon McHugh
International Correspondent
architecture NOW

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