Delft University of Technology - Pulse
A new building has risen on the campus of TU Delft, making room for contemporary education and accompanying teaching modes. The building is at the disposal of all the faculties, killing several birds with one stone: efficiency, versatility and allowing for more university-wide interaction and connection. Gispen furnished the entire building, from the hospitality area to the lecture halls and classrooms. Gispen also managed the project and even took care of the cable management, because TU Delft was looking for a full service.”
More lecture rooms, modular in design
The urgent demand for extra lecture rooms is what led TU Delft to realise its new building Pulse. Effective use of space is very important in such a process, which also applies to many other educational institutions. In short, this means: reduce the square footage and make sure that the rooms are modular in design. The number of students per faculty can fluctuate greatly, which is why a faculty-independent building was created; used both for educational purposes and social get-togethers. An added benefit of this type of building is that it connects the different faculties. Pulse has been in use from the start of the academic year 2018/2019.
Opting for Gispen
When they were searching for a partner in furnishing, TU Delft compared product business proposals – aesthetically, functionally and financially. There was also a demand for an integral, project-based approach, as well as a substantiated verbal explanation of the proposals. Gispen came out best on all three aspects. Gispen’s decisiveness, tenacity and expertise when it comes to furnishing education- and study environments played a decisive role in opting for Gispen.
Student-proof with a designer look
Pulse’s design was realised in close consultation with both students and lecturers, making sure that their needs were met. We discussed the layout and the facilities of the lecture rooms, the restaurant and the atmosphere and experience of the open-plan study area. Ector Hoogstad Architects supplied the architectural design and the masterplan for the interior. Gispen came out as winner of the tender procedure and was given the order for the interior design and installation. Besides various educational areas (1,020 seats), Pulse accommodates a food market and 275 workstations for relaxation or self-study. A key requirement for the interior was wear-free, sturdy and student-proof furniture – but also with a designer look; TU Delft was open to daring and creative ideas. In addition, there had to be unity in the interior, recognisable from the hospitality to study area.
When you enter the new building, the following thoughts will pass through your mind: ‘industrial, robust and urban with an inviting atmosphere’. The hospitality area reminds you of a contemporary living room with lots of plants, offering various seating options, with both high and low alternatives. Where the lecture halls are given a sleek design, the surrounding open-plan study area presents a combination of both worlds: homely seats, sofas and lamps next to more basic-type tables for working on projects.
Three special areas
Students, lecturers and visitors can move freely through the building – which is open until 12 o’clock at night and, during exams, until 2 am in the morning – and test out the facilities, different rooms and furniture for themselves. Black furniture has been installed in the educational areas. An important feature: the black tabletops were given a fingerprint resistant finish. Rooms that are not in use for a certain period of time can be easily converted into study areas. Additionally, Pulse offers three special areas: Break Out, a private room without any audiovisual equipment, where groups of students can get together to hold a brainstorming session, for example, or to privately reflect upon their work. Those who need state-of-the art audiovisual equipment can make use of the Technology Room. And the third special room is Square, a large space with a grandstand which allows for debates or inspiring lectures.
Gispen not only supplied chairs and tables for the hospitality- and educational area – from Gispen TM workbenches and desks, Zinn office chairs, Triennial high stools and modular WORK click bench and Sett lounge soda – we also supplied decorative items, lamps, rugs, planters and lockers. Kim Lantwaard, Gispen account manager: “We were free to come up with our own creative solutions. A good example of this is how we applied the framework of the circular and modular furniture collection CIMO as a planter and shelf unit in the hospitality area. In addition, the lockers have all been hand-made, which applies both to the dimensions and the bamboo trim. In the lecture halls we installed tables which are custom in width, with power and data provisions built into the side instead of the front – a detail that is less prominent with new setups. There are also circular Sett CE sofas to be found throughout the building, a 3D-printed sofa from recycled plastic” The acoustics of the various rooms formed another important requirement. This is why the interior is based on the advice of acoustic expert Peutz.
The employee’s thoughts
“The entire building exudes versatility. It has many different users, who are present at different times, carrying out different activities. From receiving education to meeting one another. This is why the separate rooms are modular in use and can be transformed to support, for example, a lecture to a group-oriented seminar in no time at all.”
Challenging implementation, successful result
Pulse lies at the heart of the TU campus and is situated right next to a number of faculties at a large square. It was important that the construction and furnishing of the building would cause as little inconvenience as possible to the immediate environment where education, research and other activities take place. This posed a great challenge, both in terms of planning and logistics. Some concessions were made in the schedule and all the furniture was moved into the building through a narrow corridor. The building is now in full swing and the first responses from users are positive.
Photography: Chris van Koeverden