Zealand’s knowledge infrastructure to a higher level

Campus Zeeland is the ultimate collaboration between business, knowledge and research institutions and governments in Zeeland. In addition to its location in Vlissingen, Zeeland University of Applied Sciences (HZ) wanted to establish itself in Middelburg to participate in the Beta Campus Zeeland, part of Campus Zeeland, which will lift Zealand’s knowledge infrastructure to a higher level.

Extra efforts are needed to strengthen economic growth and innovation capacity in Zeeland. To develop a stimulating campus in Middelburg for its students, HZ realized a space for approx. 1,200 students. A place where it is also possible to collaborate with the business community and other educational institutions. The sciences are housed in an environment with the Rijkswaterstaat, the Water Board, University College Roosevelt (UCR) and companies.

Small-scale education

Creating an adequate and rich learning environment was an important basic condition for education. For this purpose, HZ bought the former office in the province of Zeeland at Bolwerk Het Groene Woud in Middelburg. The building now houses the technical higher educations: Architecture, Construction, HBO-ICT, Industrial Engineering, Water Management, Chemistry, Engineering and the master’s program River Delta Development. With a new location that provides space for smaller and project-based education, HZ completed Phase 1 of the proposed development. A location that at the same time fulfilled the ambitions within sustainability. Phase 2, the realization of the Zeeland Joint Research Center, is the next step. From the start-up phase, HEVO HZ assisted with the conversion plans of the existing office building to up-to-date educational housing, from the purchase of the property, preparation of the Requirements Program up to and including the entire project and process management and redesign of the property. facility organization where the new way of working is central. CONIX RDBM Architects was selected to further shape the design.

Blacksmith for device

The building from 1973 consisted of several separate building parts that were built in different periods. The challenge was to forge the building back into one unit, also in terms of greenery, sustainability and energy efficiency. The building has been renovated and expanded to a limited extent and already consisted of three building parts: Part 1 is from 1973, part 2 from 1980 and part 3 was completed in 2005. Part 1 and part 2 are made in the same design language, while part 3 is designed in contrast and finished with titanium. That part of the building also has a much higher transparency, both in the facade and in the interior. The building has new facade openings in strategic locations. Part of this is the titanium bay windows, which refer to the latest expansion. Elsewhere, where necessary, individual windows have been added to fit into the existing façade openings.

The new building of the HZ University of Applied Sciences at Bolwerk Het Groene Woud in Middelburg has been chosen as the most beautiful building in Zeeland.

Green stronghold

The building construction consists of a lattice of 1.80 meters, on which pillars are placed. It gives the building a strong visual and physical connection with the city park Het Groene Woud, so that students can also use it in a natural way. This is reinforced by the fact that this outdoor space can be accessed from the restaurant via the spacious roof terrace. The campus is located along a busy highway, a few hundred meters from the station. The building is wedged between the historic center and Bolwerk, which together with a water element forms a green oasis. Building part 3 has as far as possible remained unchanged due to the recent construction. The older building parts are completely insulated on the outside. The facade finish consists for the most part of plaster. On the side of the city center, the facade is articulated by wooden facade parts, which were also applied to the newly built auditorium. In some places the facade is literally green: a mixture of plant species gives a varied image.

Semper Green

In the new situation, the building fully meets the new building requirements with the help of the new windows and frames, an insulation shell around the building and a cradle-to-cradle-certified SemperGreenwall. The green facade with a size of 183 m2 provides a cooling effect, cleaner air and contributes to the city’s biodiversity. The used SemperGreenwall Outdoor is equipped with a unique plant care system. This web-based driver ensures the application of the right amount of moisture and nutrition to the plants. The green facade can be followed from a distance. In addition, the green facade also has frost protection by means of a compressor.

Own home port

The new building facilitates meetings between students, teachers, education and research. Each education has its own ‘home base’, but there is also a lot of room for collaboration in addition to the education. There is a generous entrance fee for students, staff and visitors. In the entrance there is space for exhibition and promotion of the courses’ identity. Centrally located on the ground floor are open learning and work areas for students, staff and external parties, where people work, consult and meet. These are attached to a coffee corner and adjoining consultation rooms for quiet conversations. Near these areas is a large meeting room and several smaller consultation rooms for personal conversations. An auditorium is located near the central functions. The restaurant is divided into different parts and atmospheres and is located on the first floor. This space has been given other functions, such as meeting, working and celebrating together. Students and staff can choose from a diversity of workplaces so that activity-related work is possible. The informal meetings take place around the coffee corners, which are central on each floor.

Calm and natural look

In step with the exterior, the interior of the latest extension will also be maintained as much as possible. The corridors consist of a characteristic natural stone, which is also used later in the building. These will be preserved and expanded locally. The appearance of the interior is kept calm and natural and therefore matches the color with the exterior: the foundation is formed by white painted walls. Between the corridors and the learning areas, large wooden windows have been used, which add a warm atmosphere to the room due to their color. At the same time, these contribute to transparency in the building and the organization. This also formed the basis of the interior design: the teaching and research rooms are gathered centrally around a vacuum, which promotes mutual contact as well as with the students. In addition to the open learning center, there are many project group rooms where students work in teams on their assignments. Due to the open framework, coaching of teachers is realized in a natural way.

Beta Campus Zeeland

Specific collaboration with partners in the region leads to the development of the Bèta Campus. With this, Zeeland invests in economic growth and innovation capacity, for example by stimulating education and research at MBO, HBO and WO level, especially in technology. Zeeland is recognized and / or recognized as a ‘living laboratory’ in the Netherlands and abroad for the themes of water, sustainable energy and bio-based economy. Bèta Campus is being developed in phases in close collaboration with UCR, HZ University of Applied Sciences, Scalda, WMR, NIOZ and institutes outside Zeeland. In early 2018, the signatures were put on the letter of intent for the Joint Research Center Zeeland, the joint laboratory in Middelburg with facilities for MBO, HBO and WO. Construction work is now in full swing at Bolwerk Het Groene Woud.

This article was published in the Inspiration Book 2010-2025 ‘Work together on tomorrow’s learning environment’ by Schooldomein. Download article.

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