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AA Hijmans van den Bergh medical faculty by Erick van Egeraat

The AA Hijmans van den Bergh medical faculty in Utrecht designed by Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects is the joint winner of the 2007 Rietveldprijs for architecture. The award is shared with Forum ’t Zand by VenhoevenCS architects (see our previous story).

The faculty was designed to serve as a teaching facility for students of medicine, biomedicine, health sciences and primary care.

The following description of the project has been provided by EEA:


Erick van Egeraat Wins Rietveldprize for Best New Building

Rotterdam, 14 December 2007 - The A.A. Hijmans van den Bergh Medical Faculty at the University of Utrecht, designed by Erick van Egeraat, was awarded the 2007 Rietveldprize. The jury of the biannual Dutch "Rietveldprijs", named after the famous "De Stijl" architect, has for the first time distinguished two winners.

In addition to Erick van Egeraat's design, the "Forum Het Zand" school building designed by Venhoeven CS architects has also been chosen. The official ceremony will be held on 27 January 2008. During this event, the winner of the Public's Choice Award will be announced.

The new faculty building is located on the University campus 'De Uithof'. Forming the corner to the existing Academic Hospital of Utrecht,' it has a gross surface area of 14.500 m2 and contains three distinct functions; classrooms, individual study landscapes and a restaurant. The heart of the building features three cone-shaped glass structures that intersect the entire building and act as giant light wells.

The three glass structures are composed of approximately 430 unique glass plates in total, each weighing between 300 to 500 kg. Consequently, indirect sunlight enters deep into building allowing the user to experience the "outside" from a variety of positions within the building.

The structures are visible throughout and connect the public spaces on the two lower levels with educational facilities on the three upper levels. This provides an open and transparent unity.

According to the jury, "At first glance the spatial order seems to be veiled by the baroque interior, yet at second glance proves remarkably clear. This is the secret strength of the project."

The University building is named after Abraham Albert Hijmans van den Bergh, a pioneer in biomedicine.


Posted by Rose Etherington