Building Z: A Fusion of Function

  • booster-ua-gebouw-z-www-cronos-be

    Building Z: A Fusion of Function

Booster Blog

building z

The latest domain of Antwerp University proves to be an intricate yet solid design, bringing a multitude of functions into one combined structure. Building Z will be the new home to research facilities in Antwerp.

  • booster-ua-gebouw-z-www-dmtarchitecten-be
  • booster-gebouw-z-ua-www-dmtarchitecten-be

With the amalgamation of multiple institutions, the university campus is spread out across the city, which results in the campus having no ‘core’. Hence, one of the aims of this project is to form a headquarters for the university. Specifically, over the coming years, it aims at grouping the various research groups of different faculties into one center.

This merging of faculties will include the Industrial Sciences courses (engineering and electro-mechanics) of the Artesis College and the Karel de Grote College on the Groenenborger campus . The building will encompass training space, as well as offices and classrooms. Thus a considerable amount of infrastructure is needed to coerce these facilities together. Innovations in the infrastructure will benefit the university greatly, improving the quality of teaching and research considerably.

However, with such a diverse range of studies within one collective space, the design must elicit tight practicality. Not only is it a laboratory for research, but it’s also made up of classrooms and offices. Many of the functions that will be sitting side by side have specific requirements which are not easily compatible with one another. On top of that, the project is being orchestrated on a strict budget. All of these factors are what make the designers’ job an incredibly intricate one, a challenge that Bolidt were happy to be a part of.

To align with the sustainable teaching that will be housed here, this project has an almost passive building concept. Building Z is constructed totally of prefabricated concrete sandwich panels, giving the structure a strong and unique character. 

Studies via dynamic simulations were conducted for the use of shading with slats to passively cool the meeting foyer. The laboratories were also vigorously tested to evaluate the feasibility of night ventilation and summer comfort. On top of this, tests were carried out as inquiries into the feasibility of an alternative energy system, such as a heat pump or a dry cooler. This solid structure, equipped with acoustic baffles and acoustic-absorbing concrete, provides the ideal acoustics for a classroom or a lecture space.

Overall Building Z stands as a testament to the practices which will be carried out within it, a great piece of engineering, created through a process of thorough and considerate research.

Photo credits:  
Header image www.cronos.be
Other images   www.dmtarchitecten.be
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