Dec 2016 - Stimulating educational buildings

Sustainable renovation at a high level

As Total Engineer Inbo, together with Deerns, Croes and Ex Interiors, made the design for the architecture, engineering, installations, building physics, sustainability, building structure, interior design and landscape of the Dentistry building of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

Key in the design is the combination of the beautiful rough concrete in combination with the precision of dental instruments. "The existing building is an unruly, large concrete colossus, but with beautiful details," says Jeroen Simons, architect of the renovation. "First we have emptied the hull completely, allowing the artisan concrete structure to become visible again. And that construction is spectacular: the building stands on a very narrow central core with a giant overhang.

We have clearly arranged the patient-oriented sections and educational sections in the existing building. Due to the large open floors all major research and teaching rooms as well as the relatively 'normal' offices fit in there very well. In addition to the high-rise we have made a low new building containing the clinic square. In a much smaller scale, with nice light and clear circulation areas, there are special treatment rooms for children and for people with large dental fears, like myself."

Between the new building and construction a large glass atrium was built; a spectacular lobby which forms the transition between the soft rounded corners of the clinics and the concrete strength of the high-rise. There it becomes visible how the high-rise seems to hang above the plinth almost weightless, an effect that we additionally encouraged by also making the exterior of the plinth completely transparent. Because of that, the study areas are directly visible to the street and (via the concrete core) also to the large glass atrium.

"The atrium is also very suitable for a party, turned out at the opening. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic crowd of the Dentistry faculty!"

- Project Dental Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen

More information: Jeroen Simons, Saxon-Lear Duckworth, Ben van der Wal