The Learn'd, a short film directed by Victor Vroegindeweij (The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling, Hazazah Pictures), captures the poetry of light and space within KAAN Architecten's Education Center. Part of the Rotterdam academic hospital Erasmus MC, the center was once an abandoned atrium that was transformed into an "enlightened inner square" that united all the building's medical student programs under a single roof.
The narrative pairs the space with Walt Whitman's written lyric one. "A deep voice reciting “When I heard the learn’d astronomer” from Leaves of Grass meets the sharp harmony of forms, diverse material’s temperatures, and ethereal light of the roof geometry in a crescendo of tension. The discreet presence of two young figures, running and hiding themselves, is changing the focus of the stills and gives shape to an unconventional reading of the building’s structure and its elements," describes KAAN.
“The Education Center is part of an imposing medical city, a post-war concrete jungle shaped by pragmatism and cost-cut” says Vroegindeweij. “I was surprised to come across this oasis of humanism and softness, at the very heart of it”.
The short film has been realized in occasion of the shortlist nomination for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015. It is part of the exhibition that opened its doors on May 8th, 2015 at the MUHBA Oliva Artés center in Barcelona.
Director: Victor Vroegindeweij
Photography: Mick van Dantzig
Music: Diederik Ipenburg @ Most
Production: The Office for Nonfiction Storytelling