LocationMansholtlaan 18, 6708 PA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. Stoas Vilentum is a small academic institution where research and teaching focus on the green sector, and where educational specialists in the fields of agriculture and ecology are trained. The educational philosophy of the institution is based on ‘ecological intelligence. The design of BDG Architects is a translation of this philosophy and is conceived in close cooperation with the future users.
The building is designed as a pavilion in the green surroundings of the campus. The interaction between architecture and landscape is intensified by placing the building on a green mound. The campus will develop in the future more into a surrounding were education, working and living come together. The new building for the Stoas Vilentum is an important step in this development, which is emphasized by placing the building on this mound.
The three floors of the building are linked to each other by a central atrium in which lazy stairs connects the different floors. The balance between open learning areas, intimate study places and classrooms is designed to serve the educational philosophy of the university optimal. The spaces are divides into the so called ‘nesting areas’- rational spaces with established functions such as labs, offices and classrooms -, and ‘cave areas’- open spaces where different (spontaneous) activities can take place. Beautiful prints on the walls make these areas recognisable. On different places in the building are ecological structures used, for example on these prints, which refer to the education that is given in which the relation between humans and nature and ecology is placed central.
For the basis of the building BDG Architects choose a cylindrical shape, because of the favourable ratio of surface area relative to the area of the façade. This minimizes energy loss through the building’s skin. The cylindrical shape also represents the equivalence between tutors and students. The clear shape makes it into a firm and attractive building, well placed in its surroundings and with an pleasant interior for the students and tutors.