SSH (the real estate fund for students), the HKU (School of Art) and the University Medical Center of Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) took the initiative to develop an Art Campus between in Utrecht, as part of the city agenda as European Capital of Culture in 2018. FABRIcations was called to develop a masterplan strategy for Oostmeijer Developpers, currently in charge of the project.
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Program: 800 units of student housing, facilities and parking
Commissioner: SSH (the real estate found for students)
Partners: SSH & Jebber
Design Managers: Eric Frijters, Olv Klijn
Team: Bas Driessen, Ivo de Jeu, Greta Mozzachiodi, Nuria Ripoll, Clara Arango, Karena Codona, David Dominguez, Charlotte Simpson
The design reflects on the original meaning of the word ‘campus’, used in Latin to define “open fields” or “open spaces”. This correspondence testifies a relation between educational process and free space for contamination and social-cultural connections, but, due to the specific density of the Netherlands, there seems to be a general lack of wide open areas for cooperation and entrepreneurship in relation to the academic facilities.
To overcome this disadvantage, FABRICations developed a model that incorporates qualitative space for exchange with essential commercial requirements. The project is, in fact, shaped like a canyon, with open traffic and pedestrian routes, to strongly integrate the new intervention within its urban context. The inner public space, shared between the campus and the city, shapes deep cracks in the urban block, defining five bodies.
In those volumes, the program is efficiently organized, and shaped in peculiar-landscape looking elements. Shielded in artificial hills, parking, education, housing and employment are planned, distributed and interwoven with a new icon, a new “University Campus” in Utrecht.