We want your new spaces to be both truly innovative and truly unique. For us this means that we must work with staff and students to design spaces that are exciting, functional, comfortable and look good. We must also be aware of the project in its context and examine the latest thinking and design practice in Universities, Schools and Colleges so that we can learn from others and pass this on.
A couple of months ago we were invited to join a tour of Dutch learning spaces called ‘Crazy spaces make great places’. It was an intriguing title for a tour so we signed up and found ourselves in Rotterdam earlier this year.
We visited a number of places we had only ever seen on the net or read about before including BK City in Delft University of Technology. BK City is the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft . The design team was led by the dean of the Faculty of Architecture and included a number of teams from various well-known Dutch architects.
The main features of this space are the enormous orange stepped structure, which actually leads nowhere. Students use the steps as a place to meet , to quietly have a coffee and read, to take time out and contemplate, and when invited speakers and artists visit, it is used as a grandstand. Interestingly it is the structure under the stairs that is most popular as it contains several large collaborative workrooms. Although this is the most often featured space in design journals there are a number of supporting learning spaces including an open plan factory like workshop and a library. There is even a corner of the building where there is a lovely patch of sunlight and a picnic bench is set up on a square of daisy strewn Astroturf.
This space is a little crazy and creative and inspiring. Now we would like to know what kind of space you would like to see. We would love to see your thoughts and ideas in the comments section but if you would prefer you can contribute in the upcoming polls.