The compact design, orientation and materials result not only in a dynamic and sustainable building but also in a recognizable and unique meeting point, ‘a genius loci’ for Campus Arenberg.
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The competition for a new meeting point on the Campus Arenberg in Leuven was organized by KU Leuven. It concerns an extension to the existing building for the chemistry faculty on Campus Arenberg, with a 600-seat lecture theatre, and rooms for seminaries and practical sessions, and a cafeteria. The design was drawn up in collaboration with our Belgian colleagues at LLOX Architects.
Trivium occupies a remarkable position in our design, literally. Taking the master plan into account, we positioned the building in such a way that it exerts a positive influence on how the site is perceived. Through its positioning, it completes the existing volume, defines the low-traffic road and the main entrance, and creates a new square that extends into the cafeteria and meeting point.
We deliberately opted for a compact building, not only adding dynamism but also ensuring short routes and a high degree of interaction between the existing and new volumes. The new lecture theatre forms the heart of the complex, and is connected to the cafeteria and existing lecture theatres by spacious corridors and public areas, which also serve as study spaces and meeting points.
Demarcating the site, the laboratory building is flexible in layout and orientated in such a way that the collaborative spaces and practice rooms face north. The corridor to the south acts as a heat buffer. The building is constructed of robust and sturdy materials. The compact design, orientation and materials produce not only a dynamically sustainably building but also a recognizable and unique meeting point, a ‘genius loci’ for Campus Arenberg.