The latest extension on Tilburg University’s campus is Faculty Club, a multipurpose pavilion for the academic staff and their guests.
Our design reanimates the quintessential quality of the Tilburg campus: strong solitary buildings in the green. The monumental modernism of Jos Bedaux, who designed the first buildings for the university in the sixties, served as a frame of reference. The strong formal relation with the existing buildings enables one to recognize the Faculty Club as part of the university, despite its peripheral forest location and exclusive program.
The Faculty Club is designed as a carved-out-monolith, in such a way as to both profit and profit from the surrounding landscape while maintaining its distinct primary form. The central restaurant is carved out from the centre, creating a tunnel-effect in the front façade. Each façade has only one window. By recessing the window in the front and rear facade, the entrance is marked in front and a large covered terrace is created in the back.
The primary program consists of a restaurant for eighty persons, a lounge and two conference rooms. The secondary program consists of a kitchen, storage space and other services. The further the functions are situated from the campus, the more intimate and informal the space becomes. The conference rooms look out over the campus, while the lounge completely relates to the forest and the garden. A four-rail system of sliding windows enables one to open up two-thirds of the total eighteen meters of glass façade. This intensifies the experience of the forest without the visitor having to step outside the building envelope.
The construction principles of the Faculty Club are deceptively simple. In order to emphasize contrasting space and mass, the structure, installations and details are integrated within walls and floors. The starting point for the engineering was the visual absence of technique.