Monastery becomes new hotspot

Transformation into an educational building

15-10-2018

To stimulate interaction and synergy, Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas, formerly NHTV Breda) has transformed its main location into an international educational campus. In close collaboration with the staff and students – who were very involved, we as an integral team created the design which converts the existing buildings and landscape into an inspiring learning environment. 

The first phase of the transformation has been concluded. In September, the monastery was opened to students and staff after it had been transformed into an inspiring, contemporary and healthy educational building, in touch with the redesigned landscape. 

The monastery is a municipal monument that was realised in 1953 after a design by architectural and engineering firm Oomen. In our design, two existing courtyards were roofed and made into a restaurant, media library, coffee bar and academic space. As such, these new atriums have become the meeting spot and icon of the new campus. In the surrounding parts, the nuns – who had lived in the monastery until 18 months ago – made room for open and flexible office space and educational rooms. 

With the transformation, the monastery also took a great step toward sustainability. The first aspect is the reuse of the building itself, of course; it goes to show that quality truly has value, especially in the long run. Behaviour has also been tagged as an important factor, which is why the design focused on health and sustainable behaviour. Together with Breda University of Applied Sciences, a mobility plan was drafted aimed at sustainable transport to and off campus. The campus itself will be shaped by a main road and by the rather rocky former parking lots that will be made into a green, park-like area with diverse opportunities for recreation and sports, which will be open to all. The new atriums have spacious stairs that simply invite to be used. To ensure a healthy and comfortable indoor climate, the outer walls have been insulated and an entirely new, energy-efficient installation was placed. The building is connected to the district heating, and the new roofs have been equipped with solar panels. All illumination is provided by LED lighting. 

The next phase is well under way: renovating the two existing BUas buildings and shaping the second part of the campus grounds. The project is to be ready by September 2019. 

The new Breda University of Applied Sciences campus was designed by Inbo, Culd, Deerns, Pieters Bouwtechniek and DGMR. The project is managed by Brink Groep

Further information: Josine van Gulik, Bert van Breugel, Pieter Keijzer