STUDY ARCHITECTUREMAKING | Urban education landscape for Zadkine

The Zadkine Benthemplein location is housed in the Maaskant building at Benthemstraat 15. The central meeting room is located on the first floor and is characterized by its elongated shape, zoned for its height differences. A great place with 9 different Zadkine lectures. The greatest demand was therefore to create a multifunctional space that could facilitate different activities at different times of the day.

Relation to architecture & the urban context
The 112m long space evokes associations with elongated urban environments such as boulevards and parks. As a transformation into a true Zadkine environment and a reflection of the student’s experience, the design refers to various iconic sites in the center of Rotterdam. From the skate park at West-Blaak and Biergarten at Schieblocket to the indispensable yellow Luchsingel.

By utilizing the existing height differences in the room and using the existing concrete construction as a demarcation for the zones, different meeting rooms are created. Ranging from a ‘skatepit’ with integrated benches and grandstands that can be used for presentations, to ‘Luchtsingel’, which cuts through the space and forms a catwalk for fashion shows at Beauty & Fashion College.

Rotterdam producers
Within the spaces, they collaborated with creators from Rotterdam. For example, we realized Luchtsingel and Biergarten with Bende and improved the character of these iconic places together with the photographer Loes van Duijvendijk. She captured details of Rotterdam’s iconic sites from different perspectives. These hang like life-size canvases next to the various zones and enhance the character of the meeting places all over the floor.

As much of the existing interior as possible has been preserved and recycled. This made it possible to minimize the use of new materials. The materials used are selected for the future: they are easy to use in different teaching environments and have a long life.

The biggest challenge in the room was the suspended ceiling. How do we make a suspended ceiling in educational meeting rooms cool and really part of the design? We reused the ceiling and transformed it from a suspended ceiling into a recycled baffle system. The system was taken down, the slabs were cut in half, turned 90 degrees and reattached to the building’s original concrete structure. Even the plates with lighting elements joined the process and are now recognizable on their semicircular perforation, which brings the toy to the baffle system.

The existing tables and chairs have also been recycled or reused as much as possible. For example, the scaffolding wooden tables from the room now form the construction of the ‘Biergarten’. What do you do with a perfectly equipped and well-functioning serving bar when it remains inactive for a long time? Together with Bende, we realized a demountable construction around and resting on the bar furniture. This creates a new inspiring place where students can study individually as well as in groups.

Designed with attention to the student in practical education
By creating spaces that form the stage for the student’s activities, the value of practical teaching in society is emphasized. The educational landscape therefore offers a diversity of places and gives students and teachers the freedom to use the space to their own taste and to find a place that suits a specific event and / or need.

In 2020, Studio Architecture MAKEN was asked to create an image quality plan with Zadkine, in which Zadkine’s identity is translated into a spatial vision. As a Rotterdam educational institution, Zadkine exudes harsh, industrial, calm and simplicity, but also certainly iconic and colorful. Using this plan, we have transformed the first floor of the location on Benthemplein, designed by HA Maaskant, into a multifunctional study and meeting room.

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