A small, yellow coloured three-dimensional artwork by Dutch artist Krijn de Koning has been the inspiration for the design of the Teaching Lab at the TU Delft campus. A spacious structure – integrated as a ‘stand alone’ furniture element – inserted into the former Composites Lab hall – provides university staff with an interactive laboratory environment in which fresh new education methods and programs can be experimented with, developed further and tested.
Education is developing continuously and at an ever higher pace. Universities are constantly exploring how to distinguish themselves from its competition. TU Delft is at the forefront in this quest for education that best suits an ever faster changing society. Teaching staff is encouraged to develop educational innovation. The desire to provide physical sanctuaries for these experiments, motivated the founding of the Teaching Academy, with Teaching Lab as its home base.
The furniture element organises the large hall and accommodates and interconnects four different existing floor levels. Flexibility has been brought into the design by introducing linkable spaces within the structure, pivoting doors for separation, and ample power/data points and AV-facilities. On the ground floor podium, pop-up studios can be built from loose bespoke furniture elements. Compact desks and benches can be positioned along the podium edge, and connectable acoustic partition screens can be plugged in into a grid of podium floor sockets.
A detached steel structure is clad on all sides with monochrome off-the-shelf yellow coloured OSB-panels. For fysical reasons and usage some areas are clad in contrasting materials, but always in a matching shade of yellow. Thus, felt, perforated plasterboard and carpet are deployed as acoustical surfaces, hpl as finish for the kitchenette, and spray painted magnetic steel plate as ‘whiteboards’.
With the architects brief – besides a pragmatic part – only providing a basic explanation of the envisaged activities and required spatial qualities in the Teaching Lab, sufficient room was left for interpretation and creativity of the architects during the selection phase. Client’s feedback on GROUP A’s design proposal confirmed an accurate interpretation and translation of the brief, with an innovative laboratory environment providing shelter for teaching experiments.